Everything you need to know about Bhai Dooj 2020

Diwali or Deepavali (also known as the Festival of Lights) usually commences with Dhanteras and ends with Bhai Dooj which is the fifth day of Diwali. Bhai Dooj falls on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha. Bhai Dooj is celebrated to mark the love of a sister for her brother. The sister prays for the long life of her brother, treats him to sumptuous meals, and both exchanges gifts on this day. 

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The mythology behind Bhai Dooj

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra on this day after slaying the demon Narakasura. Subhadra welcomed Krishna warmly by applying tilaka on his forehead and putting garlands around his neck. She offered him sweets and then prayed for the long life of her brother. 

Story of Yama and Yami

The Hindu mythology mentions that on this day Lord Yama visited his sister, Yami, after a long time. Yami was very delighted and welcomed him warmly with Aarti and garlands and applied vermilion tilak on his forehead. She then treated him to a sumptuous feast which was prepared by Yami herself with love for her brother. Yama spent the entire day in happiness with his sister and declared that when a brother visited his sister on this day, he would be blessed with long life and would enjoy happiness and prosperity. 

Bhai Dhooj 2020  Date &  Muhurat

Bhai Dooj 2020 Date: 16th November 2020, Monday

Bhai Dooj Tilaka Time: 01:10 PM to 03:18 PM

Dwitiya Tithi: 07:06 AM on Nov 16, 2020 and ending at 03:56 AM on Nov 17, 2020

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Bhai Dhooj 2020 Pooja Vidhi 

  1. The thali for Bhai Dhooj puja is decorated beautifully with vermillion, sandal, fruits, flowers, sweets, and betel nut. The Thali is usually prepared on the eve of Bhai Dhooj.
  2. A square with rice is chalked out before the Tilak ceremony.
  3. The puja is to be performed exactly at the muhurat timing.
  4. At the auspicious muhurat, the brother is then seated within the rice square and his sister applies tilak.
  5. Sister then gives fruits, betel nut, crystallized sugar, betel leaf, black grams to her brother before performing an Aarti.
  6. Post the Tilak and Aarti, the brother presents gifts to his sister and vows to protect her for the rest of her life.

The festival of Bhai Dhooj resembles Raksha Bandhan, which also signifies the love of the sister for her brother. While on Raksha Bandhan, sisters (if married) visit their brothers at their maternal home and tie a Raksha (rakhi) as a symbol of protection. On Bhai Dooj, brothers are invited to their sisters’ homes and welcomed with aarti and the red tilak (tika) and flowers and are treated to delicious and lavish meals prepared by the sisters. The tilak signifies the heartfelt prayers of the sister for her brother’s long life and prosperity. They also exchange gifts with one another and spend a day filled with happiness and love. 

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How is Bhai Dooj 2020 celebrated in different parts of India?

Regionally, Bhai Dooj is also known as Bhaiyya Dooj in the northern parts of the country, Bhai Phonta in Bengal and Assam, Bhau Beej or Bhav Bij in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, and Karnataka. It is also celebrated in some parts of Tamil Nadu and signifies the togetherness of the sisters and brothers’ families. Bhagini means sister and Hasta Bhojanam means to partake in meals prepared by sister. In the southern part of the country, this festival is also known as Yama Dwitiya or Bhatri Ditiya or Bhagini Hasta Bhojanamu in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

On this auspicious day of Bhau Beej in Maharashtra, women who do not have brothers worship the Moon God by applying Mehendi on the hands of young girls as a tradition. Hindus revere Moon God who is often called Chanda Mama (Chanda meaning moon and Mama meaning mother’s brother). Women and girls whose brothers are away and cannot visit them on this day, pray for the long life of their brothers by worshipping the Moon God and offering aarti to the moon. Historically, this was also considered the day when brothers would visit their sisters or invite the sisters’ family to celebrate the bountiful harvest and strengthen the brother-sister bond. 

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In Bengal and Assam, Bhai Dooj is known as Bhai Phonta where every ceremony commences with the sound of the conch in the morning. The sister invites her brother and the rest of the family members to her home for the ritual. The brother is made to sit on a small cotton mattress and the sister applies tilak or phota (phonta) made out of Chandan, kajal, and Dahi while chanting prayers for his wellbeing. There are also specific ways to apply the phonta. If the sister is elder to the brother, she applies the phonta with the little finger on her left hand; the younger sister applies using the right hand.

This day is also celebrated by the artisan community as the Vishwakarma puja day, as Lord Vishwakarma is the presiding deity for architecture, craft trades, building, manufacturing, and textile work. On this day, the looms, tools, machines, and places of work are cleaned and the artisans offer prayers for prosperity and constant flow of means for livelihood.

In Nepal, Bhai Dooj 2020 is also celebrated as Bhai Tika as part of the Tihar (Diwali) festival. Sisters apply a tika of seven colors, each denoting a symbolic meaning. They perform puja with a traditional ritual of circling their brothers and pouring oil on the floor and on their brother’s hair as a mark of good luck and purification. Brothers are presented with shagun, sweets, and a sacred thread. The brothers in return put a tika of seven colors on their sisters’ forehead and present gifts to their sisters.

Bhai Dooj festival marks not just the brother-sister bond but also the concluding day of Deepavali. This also gives an opportunity for family, relatives, and friends to gather and celebrate this day with pomp and gaiety. The happiness is shared with one and all and the brothers extend their invitations to their sisters and their families to visit them for Raksha Bandhan, which is also a day of brother-sister bonding. The festival of Deepavali arrives to post the harvest season which also heralds prosperity and wealth. 

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Brothers share this prosperity and bounty with their sisters and their families by showering them with gifts and blessings. The sisters on the other hand are delighted to see their brothers and shower their love and blessings with puja and treating them to delicious savories and sweets cooked with immense love. 

Earlier, when girls left for their husband’s house after marriage, custom demanded that the girl’s parents not visit her at her in-laws’ home. The daughter visits her marital home on Raksha Bandhan to ensure her family and her brother’s protection during the crisis. Or she visits them during pregnancy for the delivery of the baby. But her brother would visit her marital home post-harvest to share the bounty with his sister and her family on Bhaiyya Dooj. 

Both Bhai Dooj and Raksha Bandhan festivals signify the deep and ever-lasting brother-sister bond and their love and blessings for each other. It also signifies that they would be the pillar for each other during difficult times and would protect them from all evils with love and deep bonding.

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