Dooj is celebrated in some of the regions of Northern India by Hindu families. The festival is widely celebrated in India and Nepal. Bhai Dooj is the last day of Diwali festival and is known by different names such as Bhai Tika, Bhai Phota, Bhau Beej, Bhai Bij, Bhav Bij, Bhatri Ditya, Bhatru Dviteeya, etc. as per regional language diversities.
According to a Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna visited her sister Subhadra after slaying Narkasur, the evil demon. Subhadra welcomed his brother by applying Tilak on his forehead. The welcome ceremony was celebrated by showering flowers and offering sweets. From then onwards, the festival is celebrated in Hindu community, specially the people of Haryana and Maharashtra.
The festival signifies the promise of the brother to protect her sister against all evils and sin as well as the blessings and goodwill for the brothers. Aarti of the brothers is traditionally performed by their sisters. The Tika ceremony performed by the sisters signifies the sincere prayers for the long life and well being of their brothers. In return, the brothers also offer gifts and cash to their sisters along with the blessings.
According to the customs, girls who do not have brothers use to worship God moon. Also, the girls who live far away from their brother worship God Moon and perform aarti as per customs and traditional beliefs. This is meant to be the actual belief why children call the Moon as ‘Chandamama’. Chanda refers to the Moon and Mama refers to mother’s brother.
The festival of Bhai Dooj is celebrated with splendour in the regions of West Bengal and is known as Bhai Phonta. Brothers and sisters in the region of Maharashtra, Haryana, Goa and Gujarat wait for this occasion with zeal and enthusiasm. It is considered as the time for a family get- together as married daughters visit their parent’s home to reunite with the brothers and sisters.
Special dishes are prepared by the families along with special sweets and deserts. Close relatives and friends use to visit the near and dear ones on this auspicious occasion. Gifts and valuables are exchanged among the brothers and sisters as the token of their immense love towards each other. Different beliefs and traditions are followed in different parts of the country on the occasion of Bhai Dooj.