Friday, September 24, 2010

Indian Festivals: Significance of Bhaiya Dooj Customs and Traditions

Bhaiya Dooj Festival: Indian history is replete with instances which speak of the rich Indian culture. Each and every festival celebrated in India has its own social and cultural importance. These occasions encompass the various customs and traditions which give India its beauty and charm. One of the many such festivals is Bhai Dooj. The name of this occasion comes from its association brothers and that it is celebrated on the second day after the new-moon (Amavasya), or Diwali day. This day is also the third day of the Kartik month, according to the Hindu calendar.

The basic theme behind the origin of Bhai Dooj festival is believed to be the safety of women. But, there are also several mythological narrations on which the various customs and traditions of Bhai Duj are based. Two most popular stories are mentioned below:

  • It is believed that once Yamraj (the god of death) visited his sister Yami. His sister became very delighted to see him and applied a tilak on his forehead. At this, Yamraj became so happy that he announced that the person whose sister will apply tilak on his forehead on that day would become free from the fear of death and hell. From that day, the tradition of Bhai Dooj came into existence.
  • Another mythological tale says that after killing the devil named, Narkasur, lord Krishna went to his sister Subhadra. The day on which lord Krishna visited his sister was the second day after the new-moon day, or the dooj day. Subhadra gave her brother a warm welcome by doing his arti, applying a tilak on his forehead, sprinkling flowers over him, and offering him sweets. From then onwards, it became a tradition and got fame as the Bhai Dooj festival.

On the auspicious and delightful occasion of Bhaidooj, sisters apply tilak (a holy mark) on their brothers' forehead. They perform arti of their beloved and caring brothers and offer sweets to them, as well. Brothers also take pledge to keep their sisters safe and give them some gift or present reciprocating their gesture. Bhaiya Dooj is one of such amazing Indian festivals which are a true representative of the customs and traditions of India.

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