Bhai Dooj

Bhai Dooj

The Legend Of Yamraja and Yamuna

This is the most famous legend which is linked with the celebration of Bhai Dooj. According to it, once, Yamraja 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 appetizing meal. 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 it is also known as Yama Dwitiya.

The Legend Of Lord Krishna And Subhadra

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.

The Legend Of Lord Mahavira

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 honour as a token of love.


On the day of the festival, sisters invite their brothers for a sumptuous meal often including their favorite dishes. The whole ceremony signifies the duty of a brother to protect his sister, as well as a sister's blessings for her brother.

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

As it is customary in Haryana, Maharashtra to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Bhau-beej, women who do not have a brother worship the moon god instead. They apply mehendi on girls as their tradition.

The sister, whose brother lives far away from her and cannot come to her house, sends her sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother through the moon god. She performs aarti for the moon. This is the reason why children of Hindu parents affectionately call the moon Chandamama


Bhai Dooj Puja Items

The festival of Bhai Duj is eagerly awaited by every Hindu household, as this is a special occasion to enjoy the long lasting bond a brother has for his sister and vice versa. It's an opportunity for a good feast at the sister's place, coupled with an enthusiastic exchange of gifts and merriment amid friends and relatives. The most important aspect of this festival is the puja that is performed. The essential items of this puja are:

  • Puja Chowk ( Platform)
  • Diya ( Lamp)
  • Roli.
  • A little rice.
  • Coconut.
  • Batashas.
  • Mithai.
  • Fruits.
  • Seven paans.


What is Bhai Dooj?
Primarily observed in the northern states of India, Bhai dooj is a festival celebrated as a part of the five-day long Diwali celebrations. Bhai, means brother, while 'Dooj' means 'second', thus Bhai Dooj is an affirmation of a sister's protection of her brother's well being.

When is Bhai Dooj celebrated? 
Bhai Dooj or Bhau Beej as it is known, is the fifth day of the Diwali festival, which falls on a new moon night, in Kartik month of Hindu calendar. This festival is celebrated after two days of Diwali.

Why is Bhai Dooj celebrated? 
Bhai Dooj is celebrated to substantiate and rejuvenate the bond of love between brothers and sisters. It is said that the brother who eats with his sister's hand on this occasion is blessed with a long and fruitful life.

What are the various names of Bhai Dooj? 
There are various names of this festival. Known by the name of bhai-dooj in the Hindi-speaking belt, it is called "Bhav-Bij" in the Marathi speaking communities and in Nepal, people know this festival by the name of "Bhai-Tika".

How is Bhai Dooj celebrated? 
This festival is ceremonized by sisters offering prayers and good wishes to their brothers. Sisters consolidate their love by putting an auspicious tilak or a vermilion spot on the forehead of their brothers and perform an aarti of him by showing him the light of the holy flame as a mark of love and protection from evil forces. In turn brother give Bhai Dooj gifts to their sisters expressing their love.

What is the legend behind Bhai Dooj? 
As per the legend behind Bhai dooj, Yamraj, the Lord of Death, visited his sister Yami on this day. She welcomed him warmly by applying a tilak on his forehead. The idea is that anyone who receives a tilak from his sister on this day is saved the agony of hell-fire. Sisters prepare sumptuous, mouth-watering meals for brothers on this special day.

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