Posted November 1st, 2013
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Bhau-Beej in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka/ Bhai Tika in Nepal/ Bhai Phota in Bengal / Bhai Dooj is a festival celebrated by Hindus on the last day of the five-day-long Diwali festival. Another name for the day is Yamadwitheya or Yamadvitiya, after a legendary meeting between Yama the god of Death and his sister Yamuna (the famous river) on Dwitheya (the second day after new moon). Bhaitika in Nepal is also known as Bhaitihar meaning tihar of brothers.


On this day, sisters pray for their brothers to have long and happy lives by performing the Tika ceremony, and sisters give gifts to their brothers.


According to popular legend in Hindu mythology, after slaying the evil demon Narkasur, Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra who gave him a warm welcome with sweets and flowers. She also affectionately applied tilak on Krishna's forehead. Some believe this to be the origin of the festival.


Another legend says Yamraj, the God of Death visited his sister Yami on this particular day. She put the auspicious tilak on his forehead, garlanded him and fed him with special dishes. Together, they ate the sweets, talked and enjoyed themselves to their heart's content. While parting Yamraj gave her a special gift as a token of his love and in return Yami also gave him a lovely gift which she had made with her own hands. That day Yamraj announced that anyone who receives tilak from his sister will never be thrown.


That is why this day of Bhai Duj is also known by the name of Yama Dwitiya.


The underlying thought behind this festive day is; like all other Hindu festivals, 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

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