Holi Bhai Dooj
Holi Bhai Dooj is celebrated on the Dwitiya Tithi of Chaitra, Krishna Paksha (waning phase of the Moon). The day is decided according to Holika Dahan day, it may fall one or two days after Dhulandi.
Bhai Dooj is a festival celebrating the bond between brothers and sisters. As the name implies Dooj is the second day i.e. Dwitiya Tithi in Hindu Calendar. There are two Bhai Dooj in a year one is two days after Diwali is popularly known as Bhai Dooj, while the other is Holi Bhai Dooj. Though Holi Bhai Dooj is not as popular as the Bhai Dooj after Diwali, it is celebrated in some regions. Popular Hindu festival texts such as Dharma Sindhu, Nirnaya Sindhu, and Vratraj have not mentioned Holi Bhai Dooj.
Bhai Dooj is celebrated by sisters applying tika on brothers forehead and pray for their long life and happiness in return brothers give gifts to their sisters. It strengthens the bond of affection between brothers and sisters.
In 2021 Holi Bhai Dooj will be celebrated on Tuesday, March 30.
According to one legend, on this day, Lord Krishna, after slaying the Narakasura demon, goes to his sister Subhadra who welcomes him with the holy lamp, flowers, and sweets and puts the holy protective spot on her brother’s forehead.
Another folklore states that on this day the lord of death, Yamaraja visited his sister, Goddess Yamuna who welcomed him with flowers, sweets and applied tilak on his forehead. In return, the lord of death presented her with a gift that reflected his affection for her. He asked her for a boon from Yamaraja, the god of death in return Goddess Yamuna told Yamraj that any brother who visits his sister’s house for tika and eats at his sister’s house should never fear death. Yamraj was pleased with his sister’s request and blessed Yamuna’s boon. Since then this tradition of celebrating Bhai Dooj started.
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.
Holi Bhai Dooj Rituals
The celebrations of this day are similar to the festival of Raksha Bandhan. Girls apply Mehendi on their hands as their tradition and invite their brothers for a sumptuous meal often including their favorite dishes/sweets. They put tika on brothers forehead which consists of vermillion and rice and pray for long life and happiness for brothers.
The whole ceremony signifies the duty of a brother to protect his sister, as well as a sister’s blessings for her brother. The sister whose brother lives far away from her and can not go to her house sends her sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother. In return, the brothers shower their sisters with gifts as a mark of affection and care.