Bhau-beej

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Bhau-beej
Tihar Tika.jpg
Tika is put on the forehead of 7 different colors
Also called Bhau-deej, Bhai Tika, Bhai Phota
Observed by Hindus
Type Religious, Nepal
Date Kartika Shukla Dwitiya
2013 date 5 November[1]
2014 date 25 October, Saturday[2]
Frequency annual
Celebration of bhaitika in Panchkhal Valley.
Putting tika
Tika of seven colors

Bhau-Beej / Bhai Tika / Bhai Phota / Bhai Dooj is a festival celebrated by Hindus on the last day of the five-day-long Diwali festival. This is the second day of the bright fortnight or Shukla Paksha of the Hindu month of Kartika.

The celebrations of this day are similar to the festival of Raksha Bandhan. 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.

Regional names[edit]

The festival is known as:

  • Bhai Phota (Bengali:ভাই ফোঁটা) in Bengal and it takes place every year on the first or the second day of the Kali Puja festival.
  • Bhai Bij, Bhau-beej or Bhav Bij amongst the Gujarati, Marathi and Konkani-speaking communities in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka;
  • Bhai Tika in Nepal, where it is the second most important festival after Vijaya Dashami.
  • 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).
  • Other names include Bhai Dooj, Bhathru Dwithiya, Bhai Tika and Bhatri Ditya.

According to another 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.

History of Bhau-beej[edit]

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.[citation needed]

The ceremony[edit]

A boy, wearing the tika, made for special occasion of tihar in Nepal

On the day of the festival, sisters invite their brothers for a sumptuous meal often including their favorite dishes. The whole ceremony signifies the duty of a brother to protect his sister, as well as a sister's blessings for her brother.

Carrying forward the ceremony in traditional style, sisters perform aarti for their brother and apply a red tika on the brother's forehead. This tika ceremony on the occasion of Bhai Bij signifies the sister's sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother. In return brothers bless their sisters and treat them also with gifts or cash.

As it is customary in Haryana, Maharashtra to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Bhau-beej, women who do not have a brother worship the moon god instead. They apply mehendi on girls as their tradition.

The sister, whose brother lives far away from her and cannot come to her house, sends her sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother through the moon god. She performs aarti for the moon. This is the reason why children of Hindu parents affectionately call the moon Chandamama (Chanda means moon and mama means mother's brother).

The celebration[edit]

Bhai Phota in West Bengal is celebrated with much splendor. The ceremony is marked with many rituals along with a grand feast arranged for the brothers.

The festival of Bhai Bij is popular in Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa and is celebrated with great fervour and gaiety. Brothers and sisters look forward to the occasion with immense enthusiasm. To add charm to the occasion, Bhai Bij gifts are exchanged between brothers and sisters as a token of love and appreciation.

Bhav Bij is a time for family reunions as all brothers and sisters in the family get together. Close relatives and friends are also invited to celebrate the Bhav Bij in many families.

Special dishes for the festival include the Maharashtra sweet called basundi poori or kheerni poori.On this occasion sisters give gifts to their brothers.

Bhaitika in Nepal[edit]

Bhaitika in Nepal is also known as Bhaitihar meaning tihar of brothers. On this day, sisters pray to Yamraj for her brother's long life and prosperity.[3] Sisters put seven colored long tika on forehead of their brothers.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2013 Hindu Festivals Calendar for Delhi, NCT, India". drikpanchang.com. 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013. "05 Tuesday Bhaiya Dooj" 
  2. ^ "Marathi Kalnirnay month of October 2014". Kalnirnay. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Bhai-Tika / Bhai-Teeka". diwalifestival.org. Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India. Retrieved 5 November 2013.