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Bhaiya Dooj (Tikka)

The major festival of Hindus, Diwali, referred to as festival of lights, lasts for five days and the fifth day or the last day of Diwali is called as Bhaiya Dooj commonly called as Bhai Dooj. The occasion of Bhai Dooj happens to be on second day when the new moon occurs. On this day, sisters pray for the long lives of their brothers.

The festival of Bhai Dooj usually occurs in October or November. There is no fixed date as it is calculated by Pandits every year. It occurs on new moon night, usually one day after Diwali festival. The festival is named so as "bhai" means brother while "dooj" means the second day of the new moon and therefore it is the day of brothers. Festival of Tikka is another name for Bhai Dooj. There is a lot of significance of this festival as Bhaiya Duj represents the bond of love between a sister and a brother. Sisters put tilak made of vermilion and saffron on the brother’s forehead and perform aarti followed by offering sweets. Subsequently, the brothers bless them and bestow presents on them. These gifts are an integral part of Tikka celebrations in the city of Chandigarh as well.


According to legends, Yamraj, who is the God of Death according to Hindu mythology, went to Yami, his sister on this day. She applied special tilak on his brother’s forehead and also garlanded him along with feeding him with tempting dishes. They celebrated the day happily together and drew great pleasure to the content of their heart. When they parted, Yamraj gifted her sister a special present as his token of love and similarly Yami also gifted her some lovely present which was her hand made gift. That day there was a declaration by Yamraj that people who would receive tilak from their sisters would never be thrown. Therefore, this Bhai Dooj day is also referred to as Yama Dwitiya.

There is another belief that Lord Krishna had gone to his sister, Subhadra, when he annihilated Narakasura demon. He was welcomed by his sister with an arti, sweets and flowers. Then, she applied the Tikka i.e. the holy tilak on Krishna’s forehead for protection. It is since that day that festival of Tikka is being celebrated as a symbol of love between sisters and brothers. These legends have been followed since then and it became a tradition that the brother has to go to his sister's place for celebrating Bhai Dooj.
There is one more interesting story behind the celebration of Bhai Dooj festival. Legends say that the founder of Jainism, Mahavir, when attained nirvana, King Nandivardhan, his brother got distressed as he had missed him and was then comforted by Sudarshana, his sister.


On Bhai Dooj, the brothers are invited by their sisters for having a tempting meal usually having their favorite food. This ceremony basically lays emphasis on duties of the brothers for protecting their sisters along with blessings of sisters for their brothers.

The ceremony is carried forward in a traditional way with sisters performing aarti for their brothers and applying a red tikka on the forehead of their brothers. The tikka ceremony on the Bhai Dooj occasion exhibits sister's prayers for the happy and long life of the brother. Subsequently, the brother blesses his sister and offers her gifts or even cash.
This custom is followed in the states of Haryana and Chandigarh as a grand affair and the sisters who do not have brothers worship the God moon instead. The sisters also apply mehendi on this occasion as a common tradition.

The sisters who have their brothers living far away from them and are unable to visit their house, send the sincerest prayers for the happy and long life of their brothers through the moon god. The sisters perform aarti for the moon god. This is why the children of Hindu call the moon as Chandamama where Chanda signifies moon whereas mama refers to mother's brother.

Astronomical Significance of the 2nd day of Krittika

As per the Devi Bhagawata and Taittiriya Samhita, the Devas’ Raasa starts in the month of Krittika. The Raasa is the formation process in which consciousness remains to be the control center having all others moving around it.

Vishakha and Krittika are the two intersection points of the equator and ecliptic. The axis of earth moves in a circular way in a period of 26,000 years. The first point has 2 branches starting like blades of pair of scissors and opposite point joining the 2 branches called as Vishakha or Dvi-shakha. Therefore, the occasion of Yama-dvitiya happens to be on 2nd day of Krittika symbolizing a pair of sister-brother.

Vishakha-pattanam has two rivers named as Vamshadhara and Nagavali starting from same place but these are found to be separated all through the journey till the sea therefore it is called Vishakha.

Similar Festival

There is no place where the bond of affection between a sister and a brother is glorified to such an extent as in India. The Hindus honor this beautiful relationship two times every year through the festivals of Bhai Dooj and Raksha Bandhan.

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