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Did you Know About these Regional Names of Bhai Dooj

The festival of Bhai Dooj falls on the last day of Diwali and marks the end of an auspicious season. Although the festival is similar to Raksha Bandhan, Bhai Dooj holds a special place in the Hindu tradition. Apart from exchanging delicious sweets and beautiful gifts, Bhai Dooj also signifies the everlasting bond shared by a brother and sister. It is also believed that the festival of Bhai Dooj strengthens this bond, protects them from all evil forces and brings new hopes and aspirations in their lives.

Bhai Phota or Bhai Phota

Celebrated on the second day of Kali Puja, this major Hindu festival is celebrated with great joy and gaiety all over West Bengal. Sisters apply tilak made of ghee, sandalwood paste and put on the foreheads and showe them with thoughtful bhai phota gifts for brother. The little ones are given rice and darba (a kind of grass) as a symbol of abundance and long life. Huge get-togethers are organized. Kheer and coconut ladoos are the sweets of the festival which are loved by all.

Bhai Beej, Bhau-Beej or Bhava-Beej

The festival is popularly known as Bhai Bij, Bhau-Bij or Bhava Bij among Marathi and Konkani speaking communities in the states of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. Before puja, the brother is fed a bitter fruit named Karit. This custom is associated with the story that Lord Krishna tasted this fruit before going on his mission to kill the demon Narakasura. The highlight of this festival is the delicious Basundi Puri or Shrikhand Puri.

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Bhai Dooj

The name Bhai Dooj is popular in UP and Bihar where this festival is of great importance. Rituals of Bhai Dooj include the sister applying tilak of roli and rice on her brother’s forehead and praying with aarti to remove all evil effects. In Bihar and some eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh, there is a unique way of celebrating this festival. Here sisters imitate the central character of the story of Bhai Dooj, where a sister saves her brother by cursing him till he gets married. This curse is seen as a means to ward off all the dangers and evil influences of the spirits around the brother. This Bhai Dooj, send bhai dooj gifts to make your siblings feel loved and special.

Yamadavithya

Falling on the last day of Diwali, this festival commemorates the eternal bond of love between brother and sister. A popular legend is associated with the festival, which gave the name of Bhai Dooj to Yamadvitheya. Legend has it that Lord Yamraj came to his sister Yamuna’s house after a very long time. On his arrival he warmly welcomed him. Yamuna performed the aarti, adorned his neck with a beautiful garland and applied Tika on his forehead. He had delicious food with her. Pleased by her affectionate gesture, Yama blessed her and showered her with gifts. He declared that a brother visiting his sister on this day would be blessed with good health and wealth. This is the reason why Bhai Dooj is also called Yama Dwitiya or Yamadvitheya.

These regional names of Bhaiya Dooj reflect the difference in cultural environment in different geographical locations where the festival is celebrated. In some places the customs also differ and the methods of celebration differ, yet Bhai Dooj celebrations across the country have remarkably the same festival spirit. Brothers and sisters across the country eagerly wait for this festival as it provides an opportunity to meet brothers and sisters and share the sweetness of their relationship.

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