Bhai Dooj, one of the main festivals of India is known by various names in different parts of the country. It is popularly known as Bhai Phota, Bhav Bij, Bhai Tika, Bhatri Dwitiya, Yama Dwitiya, etc. The traditional customs and rituals vary a little due to the cultural diversity in the various parts of India, but the essence of the festivities remains unchanged. Its significance too remains equally the same among the brothers and sisters. Every sister prays for the long life of her brother whereas the brother promises to always take care of her. Similar to the festival of Raksha Bandhan, Bhai Dooj strengthens the bond of love and care between the brothers and sisters. Read to know more about Bhai Dooj celebration in various parts of India.
Bhai Dooj In Uttar Pradesh
In Uttar Pradesh, at first, sisters give a piece of cloth, knotted into a circular shape, full of batashas (sugar balls) to their brothers. This piece of cloth is called as 'aabf'. For each brother, there are two aabf. After all the rituals, sisters apply a tika of roli and rice on the forehead of the brothers and then perform aarti, praying for the long and happy life of their brothers. At last, they offer sweets to them and then the story of Bhai Dooj is narrated.
Bhai Dooj In Bengal
In Bengal this festival is called Bhai Phota. On this day, sisters observe fast till the time all the traditional customs have been performed. After this, they apply tika made of sandalwood paste, ghee and kohl (kajal) on their brothers' forehead. Then the aarti is performed and sisters give sweets to their brothers to eat. Kheer and coconut laddus are the traditional sweets which are prepared on this day. At the time of applying tika, the sister chants the mantra which is as follows:
"Bhratus tabaa grajaataaham
Bhunksa bhaktamidam shuvam Preetaye yama raajasya
This mantras means "I, your sister making you eat this holy rice for the pleasure of Yama and Yamuna". In this way she prays God to bless her brother with the best in life.
Bhai Dooj In Bihar
In the Bihar, the festival of Bhai Dooj is celebrated in the most unique way. The sisters curse their brothers in order to keep the evil spirits and dangers away from them. At first, they say very bad things to their brothers and then prick their own tongue with a wild prickly fruit as a punishment. By doing this, they ask their brothers to forgive them for the ill behaviour and mistakes which they have done till the date. Besides this, there is a unique custom in which brothers eat grains of bajri with water, from the hands of their sisters.
Bhai Dooj In Punjab
In Punjab, the day after Diwali is celebrated as tika and on this day, sisters make a paste with saffron and rice and apply tika on their brothers' forehead to keep away all the difficulties and dangers from them. After this, they exchange gifts and sweets among each other.
Bhai Dooj In Gujarat
Bhai Dooj in Gujarat is known as Bhai Beej and on this auspicious occasion, sisters get up early in the morning and then the traditional tilak ceremony is held. After this, they perform aarti of their brothers and pray for their good fortune and life. Then they offer sweets to their brothers and in return the brothers bless them and exchange gifts.
Bhai Dooj In Maharashtra & Goa
Marathi communities in Maharashtra and Goa called this festival as Bhav Bij. On this day, sisters draw a square on the floor in within the boundaries of which the brothers have to sit. After they are seated, it is a custom for to have a bitter fruit named Karith. After this, the rituals and applying the Tilak, traditional sweets such as Shrikhand Puri and Basundi Puri are served.