October to Mid-November - Bhai Dooj
Bhai Dooj – celebrated end of October to mid November
In 2023, Bhai Dooj will be celebrated on 14th November (Tuesday).
Ritual of Dry Coconut
Giving dry coconut to brothers is considered a symbol of auspiciousness during Bhai Dooj. It is believed that when Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra after prevailing over demon King Narakasura, she embraced him with a warm welcome, flowers and sweets. She then applied tilak on Krishna’s forehead and gave him the dry coconut.
- The thali from which the brother is worshipped is beautifully decorated. The thali has fruits, sandalwood, vermilion, flowers, betel nuts and sweets.
- According to traditions, sisters usually make a seat of rice flour for their brothers. The brothers sit on these seats for the sisters to perform their rituals.
- Sisters pour water on their brother’s palms while reciting the holy mantra and tie kalava on their hands. Then, tilak is applied to the forehead.
- After the tilak is applied, flowers of betel nut, Kaddu, betel leaves and coins are placed on the brother’s palms.
- The sisters then perform the Aarti. Seeing a flying kite in the sky is often considered a good omen.
- After the Aarti and Tilak are completed, the brother gives his sister a gift and pledges to protect her life.
Brothers meet their sisters on Bhai Dooj and complete the custom of ‘Bhagni Hasti Bhojanam’. In this custom, the brothers have to eat the food sisters prepare for them. It is said that this tradition was started by the God of death, Lord Yama.
Bhai Dooj is an important
Hindu festival when women pray to the gods for long and prosperous lives
for their brothers. It is celebrated two days after the popular
festival of Diwali.
Known in different parts of India, as well as Nepal and Bangladesh, as Bhau Beej, Bhai Teeka, or Bhai Phota. The festival is very similar to Raksha Bandhan, as it celebrates the love between a brother and sister.
While sisters perform traditional rituals and pray for their brothers’ well being, brothers vow to protect sister. The underlying spirit of piety, love, and care is a unified notion that resonates throughout us all.
Rabindranath Tagore and the Partition of Bengal
Rachel Fell McDermott, Professor of Asian Studies at Columbia University, describes Rabindranath Tagore's rakhi-bandhan ceremonies, inspired by the Bhai Dooj ritual, which were organized to protest the 1905 Partition of Bengal
In 1905 Rabindranath Tagore extended the symbolism of Brother's Second, a ritual of bonding between brothers and sisters that is celebrated right after the Pujas have concluded, to evoke friendship between Hindus and Muslims: members of both communities would tie red threads of brotherhood on each others' wrists.
Anne is sharing a series of events throughout the year - you can find them listed by clicking to the link Feast Days & Festivals