Bhai Dooj 2022: Date, History, Significance and Celebrations

Bhai Dooj is a Hindu festival which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters and it is similar to the major Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan during which also the relationship between brothers and sisters is celebrated. 

This year Bhai Dooj falls on 26th October and it is celebrated during the last day of the five day long Diwali celebrations which is the most important Hindu festival. It is also known as ‘Yama Dwitiya’ in southern parts of India. 

There is a unique understanding between a brother and a sister. They are the best friends of each other, protectors of each other, admirers of each other, secret sharers of each other and has unconditional love for each other and Bhai Dooj gives them an opportunity to share and show their love for each other and strengthen their bond. 

Event Bhai Dooj
Date October 26, 2022
Day Wednesday
Significance The day honors and celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters
Observed by India

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Bhai Dooj Date and Timings: 

Bhai Dooj is annually celebrated on the second lunar day of the Shukla Paksha of the Kartika month according to the Hindu calendar which means that this year it falls on 26th October. 

The Shubh Muhurat timings for Bhai Dooj starts at the noon of 26th October from 2:42 PM and continues till 12:45 PM of 27th October. 

Bhai Dooj Aparahna duration is for about 2 hours and 14 minutes as it will be from 1:12 PM till 3:27 PM pn 26th October. 

Bhai Dooj History: 

Well it is not actually known that since how long this festival has been celebrated but it is estimated that this festival has been celebrated for a very long time in India and even today also this festival is quite popular in India especially in the northern regions of the country. Although there is no exact time that when the celebrations of this festival started but there are many popular legends which are associated with the origins of this festival. 

The most famous legend which is linked with the celebration of Bhai Dooj is the legend of Yamaraja and Yamuna. According to it, once, Yamraja(Lord of Death) went to meet his sister Yamuna after a long time. When he reached there, she was very happy to see him and put tika on his forehead, performing aarti, and offered him sweets to eat and gave him a small gift as a token of love. She treated him with an appetizing meal. 

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Yamraja was so pleased to see the love and care of his sister that he declared that any brother, who receives tilak from his sister on this day, will never be sent to the hell and will live a long life. Since then the custom of celebrating Bhai Dooj started and this is why this festival is also known as Yama Dwitiya which is celebrated to please the Yamaraja to grant devotees a longer life. 

Another legend is linked with Lord Krishna when he went to meet his sister Subhadra after killing the demon Narakasura. Subhadra was very happy to see her brother and she gave a warm welcome to him with flowers and by performing aarti and putting tika on his forehead as a mark of protection and by offering him sweets to eat. This legend then gave birth to the festival of Bhai Dooj, stating that sisters, no matter what, will pray for the well being and long life of their brothers.

Along with Hinduism, the origins of this festival is also found in Jainism. This legend is related to Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism. When he attained nirvana, his brother King Nandivardhan started missing him and became very much upset. At that time he was consoled by his sister Sudarshana, who took proper care of her brother. Since that time, brothers started giving love and respect to their sisters. On the auspicious day of Bhai Dooj, sisters are given beautiful gifts and honor as a token of love.

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Bhai Dooj Significance: 

The festival of Bhai Dooj has a literal meaning attached to it. It is made up of two words namely- “Bhai” meaning brother and “Dooj” meaning the second day after the new moon which is a day of its celebration. The day holds the special significance into the lives of a brother and a sister. It is an auspicious occasion that celebrates the strong bonding between two opposite sex siblings. This wonderful festival is an important occasion where sisters pray to God for the longevity, well-being and prosperity of their beloved brother.  

Often this festival is compared with Raksha Bandhan which is another but more popular Hindu festival which has the same purpose as the Bhai Dooj as it also celebrates the relationship and bond of love between the brothers and sisters. During which sisters prays for the well-being of their brothers and brothers makes a promise to always protect their sisters. The difference will be that Rakhi band is a major part of Raksha Bandhan celebrations which is not the case with Bhai Dooj. 

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Bhai Dooj is celebrated throughout the country with different names and different customs depending on the region. However one thing remains the same that is the essence of this festival in the kernel of the people. In the state of West Bengal, Bhai Dooj is known as Phota festival. On this day the sisters observe a fast and after the tilak application, they have lunch with their brothers. In Maharashtra and Goa, Bhai Dooj is referred as Bhao Beej. On this occasion the sister completes the tilak after which she prays for his long life. 

Along with these there are still many variations of this festival which is celebrated throughout the country and as a result of it there are some specific customs too which are followed on this festival in specific regions like in in the state of Bihar, on the occasion of Bhai Dooj, the sister scolds her brother and even abuses him, later apologises to him. This is done to vindicate the brother from his past sins. After this custom has taken place, the sister applies tilak and offers sweets to the brother so this kind of customs are very unique and different in some places. 

We all know that how important is the relationship between siblings and especially between the brothers and sisters as they spend a lot of their life together knowing and playing with each other since their childhood all the way upto reaching their adulthood and that’s why the relationship between brothers and sisters is something very unique and incredible and that’s why it definitely deserves a celebration for it and that’s what Bhai Dooj offers us. 

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Bhai Dooj Celebrations: 

On the day of the festival, sisters invite their brothers for a sumptuous meal often including their favourite dishes/sweets. The procedure may be different in across different regions of India. The whole ceremony signifies the duty of a brother to protect his sister, as well as a sister’s blessings for her brother well-being and prosperity for his life. So it is a day in which brothers and sisters both makes promise to each other to always look for each other throughout their life. 

Carrying forward the ceremony in traditional style, sisters perform arti for their brother and apply a red tika on the brother’s forehead. This tika ceremony on the occasion of Bhai Dooj signifies the sister’s sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother and treat them with gifts. In return, elder brothers bless their sisters and may treat them also with gifts or cash.

The festival of Bhai Dooj is a time for family reunions as well as all brothers and sisters in the family get together on the occasion. Close relatives and friends are also invited to celebrate this festival with families. Special dishes for the festival are also prepared on this day which is distributed to every guests. Later siblings also use this opportunity to ho for a outing on this day as a way of celebrations.

However to celebrate the occasion in a traditional style, sisters make a seat for their brothers by the flour of rice in order to complete the ceremony. A paste of Vermillion, dahi and rice is applied as a religious tika on the forehead of the brother. After this, the sister offers flower of Kaddu, betel leaves, betel nuts and coins in the palms of her brother and slowly chant the mantras by pouring water on the palm. The mantras or the prayer done to the Yama, the Death God says, “O Yamaraj, I am making this offering unto You.” 

After this, a Kalawa is tied onto the hand and the aarti is performed by the sister subsequently. A lamp facing the south direction is lit and it is considered a good omen to see a flying kite in the sky in order to get your wishes fulfilled. Brothers are also offered their favourite sweets along with the water to enjoy the delicacies. There is also the exchange of Bhai Dooj gifts among brother and sister on the occasion and blessings are taken from the elders.

Most Searched FAQs on Bhai Dooj: 

1. When is Bhai Dooj celebrated? 

Bhai Dooj is annually celebrated on second lunar day of Shukla Paksha of the Kartika month according to the Hindu calendar. 

2. Which festival is similar to Bhai Dooj?

The festival of Raksha Bandhan is similar to Bhai Dooj. 

3. How is Bhai Dooj celebrated? 

It is a festival dedicated to the beautiful bond between brothers and sisters. On this special day, sisters apply tika on their brothers’ forehead and pray for their wellbeing, happiness, and prosperity. They also exchange gifts and complete the day by eating delicious food. 

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