Bhai Dooj is rejoiced two days after the festival Diwali. According to the Hindu calendar, Bhai Dooj falls on the second day of the bright fortnight or Shukla Paksha of the Hindu month of Kartika. Thus, it comes in between the month of October and November, according to the Gregorian calendar. On this day, sisters get up early in the morning, worship the gods and goddesses and pray for the good fortune and health of their brothers. Then they perform the rituals of this festival. Firstly, they put vermillion tika on the forehead of the brother and then put rice on it. After this, they perform aarti of their brothers and offer sweets to eat. At the end, brothers and sisters exchange gifts and brothers who are younger to their sisters take blessings by touching their feet.
Bhai Dooj is one of the important festivals, which is celebrated by the Hindus in India and abroad. It is similar to the festival of Raksha Bandhan which rejoices the strong and special bond of a sister and a brother. On this auspicious day, sisters pray to God for the long life, well being and welfare of their brothers whereas the brothers take a vow to always protect their sisters from any kind of difficulty and to take care till the end of their life. This festival strengthens the affectionate bond of love between a brother and a sister. After the rituals are performed, the exchange of gifts takes place. Brothers and sisters give exciting gifts to each other expressing their love and care towards each other. There are various stories linked with this festival such as story of Yama and Yamuna; Lord Krishna and Subhadra; and Goddess Laxmi and Bali (which you will come across in other sections). In addition to this, this festival is popularly known by different names in different regions of the country.
In 2014, Bhai Dooj will be celebrated on 25th October (Saturday).