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Updated on: Saturday, November 06, 2021, 06:14 PM IST

Bhai Dooj 2021: Here are popular mythological stories associated with the festival

South Dinajpur: Women put tilak on the forehead of Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers during Bhai Dooj celebrations, at Balurghat in South Dinajpur district, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021.  | (PTI Photo)

South Dinajpur: Women put tilak on the forehead of Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers during Bhai Dooj celebrations, at Balurghat in South Dinajpur district, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. | (PTI Photo)

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Celebrated on the Dwitiya tithi of Kartik Shukla Paksha is Bhai Dooj and is the fifth and final day of Diwali. Bhai Dooj or Bhau Beej falls on November 6 this year, which is today. A celebration of the bond between brothers and sisters, Bhai Dooj is a popular festival celebrated across India. It also marks the end of the five-day festivity of Diwali. On this day, sisters apply a vermillion tilak/tika on the foreheads of their brothers and pray for their safety and wellbeing. In return, brothers offer gifts and seek blessings of their sisters.

Lord Yamraj & Goddess Yamuna

One of the most popular stories associated with Bhai Dooj is that of Lord Yamraj and his sister, Goddess Yamuna. The story goes that Yamuna, or Yami, longed to meet her brother Yamraj whom she hadn't seen in a long time. The Lord of Death decided to pay a visit to his sister which happened to be on the second day of Diwali and the Dwitiya tithi of the Kartik Shukla. Goddess Yamuna was overjoyed meeting her brother and she marked his forehead with a tilak, which symbolises luck and protection. Yamraj offered a boon to his sister as a present, asking her to make a wish. Yami requested him to visit her each year and also asked that every man whose sister puts a tilak on his forehead with love shall not fear Yama, that the love of a sister shall protect a man from any harm of ill fate. Yamraj was deeply touched by this gesture and fulfilled his sister’s wish.

Krishna and Subhadra

Another story associated with Bhai Dooj is that of Lord Krishna and his sister Subhadra. After Satyabhama and Krishna slayed the demon king Narakasura, Krishna visited his sister Subhadra who welcomed him with flowers, lamps, food and sweets. She was elated to meet her brother and lovingly applied vermillion on his forehead, thus starting this festival of Bhai Dooj.

Life-long bond

This festival of Bhai Dooj, which is known by different names across the country like: Bhau Beej in Maharashtra and Goa, Bhai Tika in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Bhai Pontha in Bengal and Bhai Tihar in Nepal, is a celebration of the bond between sisters and brothers, just like the festival of Raksha Bandhan. Bhai Dooj honours a sister’s love for her brother, and her prayers for his safety and wellbeing.

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Published on: Saturday, November 06, 2021, 06:14 PM IST
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