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Sisters honor their brothers with a Tilak or Vermilion mark on the forehead for which in return they receive gifts from their brothers. Flickr
BY NEHA HEGDE

The festival of lights and joy lasts for five long days. The fifth day of Diwali is Bhai Dooj. Holding a mythological background, Bhai Dooj is mostly celebrated like Rakshabhandan. It falls on the second day after the new moon. It is about sister folks praying for the long life of their brothers. It is about strengthening the bond between sister and brother and marks for love, care, and affection between them.

Sisters honor their brothers with a Tilak or Vermilion mark on the forehead for which in return they receive gifts from their brothers. In traditional reference, Bhai Dooj is appropriate for brothers of married women. As they are separated from family, it gives the chance for their brothers to visit and check on the conditions of their sister at her husband’s place.


Bhai Dooj is also called Bhayya Duj, Bhai Phota (Bengal), Bhai-Tika (Nepal), Bhav-Bij (Maharashtra), and etc.

The Story Behind Bhai Dooj

Sometime in the distant past, Surya, the Sun God, married a lovely princess called Samjna (also called Sangya). In a year, she gave him twins. The twins were named Yama, and Varni or Yamuna, and they grew up together. Samjna, after some time, couldn’t bear the brightness of her better half, thus chose to return to earth. Notwithstanding, she left her shadow, Chaya, her accurate reproduction, behind, so that Surya felt she was still there.

Chaya ended up being a merciless stepmother and was exceptionally horrible to the twins. She gave birth to her own children and persuaded Surya to drive out Samjna’s twins, Yama and Varni from the sky. Varni tumbled to earth and turned into the waterway Yamuna, and Yama went to the underworld (Hell) and turned into the Lord of Death.


Subhadra invited Krishna traditionally by performing Aarti and applying a Tilak on his forehead. Unsplash

Numerous years passed since this occurrence. Varni wedded an attractive prince and was content in her life. However, she missed her sibling and longed to see him. Yama, as well, missed his sister and chose one day to visit her. Thrilled by information on her sibling’s visit, Varni arranged an incredible feast in his honor. It was two days into Deepavali, so her house was at that point enlivened with lights. She affectionately arranged a banquet, including all the desserts and luxuries that her sibling adored. Her husband was exceptionally cheerful seeing Varni so dedicatedly setting up a greeting for her sibling.

Yama, as well, was enchanted by his sister’s caring welcome, and the sibling and sister went through a charming night in one another’s company, after their extensive separation. At the point when it was the ideal opportunity for Yama to leave, he went to his sister and stated, “Dear Varni, you have invited me so affectionately. However, I didn’t present to you a blessing. Ask for something and it will be yours.”

To which Varni replied that his visit is her gift. But, Yama insisted to give a gift to his sister. Varni agreed and taking a moment to think she asked that all brothers should remember their sisters on this day and visit them if they can, and that, on this day, all sisters should pray for the happiness of their brothers. Yama granted her wish.

Another story stands in Lord Krishna, after destroying Narakasur, he went to meet his sister Subhadra. Subhadra invited Krishna traditionally by performing Aarti and applying a Tilak on his forehead.

These two stories hold the mythological interpretation for this day on which we celebrate as Bhai Dooj!


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