On the fifth and the last day of the Diwali festival Bhai Dooj or Bhau Beej is celebrated to mark the love between brothers and sisters. It is also called Yamadwititya.
Bhai Dooj is a festival of brothers and sisters. On this day, sisters apply sacred tika on their brother's forehead and pray for their long life. Brothers bless their sisters and promise to protect them from all hardships in life.
Bhai Dooj too has got a lot to do with family ties and social attachments. It serves as a good time, especially for a married girl, to get together with her own family, and share the post-Diwali glee.
The Legends of Bhai Dooj :
The Legend Of Yamaraj and Yamuna :
According to Vedas Yama is god of the dead. He was the son of Vivasvat, the Sun and had a twin-sister named Yami or Yamuna. Yami, Yama's twin sister, was transformed into the sacred river Yamuna in whose purifying waters people bathe on holy days.
It is believed that once Yama went to visit his sister Yami who welcomed him with an auspicious tilak (a red dot) on his forehead and after garlanding him fed him a sumptuous meal and sweets. As a token of love Yamraj gave her a special gift while Yami presented him with a gift made with her own hands. Yamraj then announced that anyone who receives tilak from his sister will prosper. So to this day sisters welcome their brothers with the traditional tilak and sweets and brothers in turn give them gifts. Therefore, it was given the name of Yamadwititya.
The Legend Of Shree Krishna :
According to one legend, on this day, Lord Krishna, after slaying the Narakasura demon, goes to his sister Subhadra who welcomes him the lamp, flowers and sweets, and puts the holy protective spot on her brother's forehead.
The Legend Of Lord Mahavir :
Yet another story behind the origin of Bhai Dooj says that when Mahavir, the founder of Jainism, attained nirvana, his brother King Nandivardhan was distressed because he missed him and was comforted by his sister Sudarshana. Since then, women have been revered during Bhai Dooj.
Regional Names of Bhai Dooj :
There are various regional names of Bhai Dooj.
Bhai Phota -
In Bengal this event is called 'Bhai Phota', which is performed by the sister who religiously fasts until she applies a 'phota' or mark with sandal wood paste on her brother's forehead, offers him sweets and gifts and prays for his long and healthy life.
Bhav Bij / Bhai Bij / Bhaubeej :
In the states of Maharastra and Goa, this festival is known by the name of Bhav Bij / Bhai Bij / Bhaubeej . On Bhaubeej sisters pray for their brothers long and happy life as they perform teeka ceremony. Brothers also bless their sisters and pamper them with Bhav-Bij gifts. Highpoint of Bhai Bij celebration in Maharashtra is a special sweet called Basundi Poori of Shrikhand Poori.