The fifth and last day of the diwali is called Bhai Duj. This day is also known as 'Bhav-Bij' in the Marathi-speaking communities and in Nepal by the name of 'Bhai-Tika'and 'Bhai Phota' in Bengali. It is generally held on the second day of Shukla Paksh, the bright fortnight of Kartik This festival is observed as a symbol of love between sisters and brothers.
Legend of Bhai Duj
In the Vedic era, Yama (Yamraj, the Lord of death) visited
his sister Yamuna on this day. He gave his sister a Vardhan (a boon)
that whosoever visits her on this day shall be liberated from all
sins. They will achieve Moksha or final emancipation.
From then on, brothers visit their sisters on this day to enquire
of their welfare. That is why this day of Bhai Duj is also known by
the name of "YAMA-DWITIYA"
Another story behind the origin of Bhai Duj 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
Celebrations on Bhai Duj
It is a day specially dedicated to sisters. Sisters ceremonize
their love by putting an auspicious tilak or a vermilion mark on the
forehead of their brothers and perform an 'arati'of him by showing
him the light of the holy flame as a mark of love and protection
from evil forces. Sisters are lavished with gifts, goodies and
blessings from their brothers.
In India this festival is celebrated in various ways.
Bhai Phota is celebrated with a lot of grandeur in Bengal.Sisters
religiously fasts until she applies a 'phota' or mark with sandal
wood paste on her brother's forehead, offers him sweets and gifts
and prays for his long and healthy life. An 'arati' is also
This day is known as 'Tikka' in Punjab. Sisters make a
paste with saffron and rice and place an auspicious mark on their
brother's foreheads as a symbolic gesture to ward off all harm.
In Uttar Pradesh, the brother is gifted with an `aabf'- a
length of flax, knotted into a circular shape and dotted with sugar
batashas.. After performing all the rituals that include the sister
applying a tilak of roli and rice on her brother's forehead and
praying him with an arati to shed off all the evil effects, the
story of Bhai Dooj is narrated.
The sisters of Bihar start this day by showering choicest of curses
on their brothers. After doing so, they prick their own tongues as
punishment, with a thorny, wild fruit and ask for their brothers'
forgiveness for the curses, and also for past mistakes. There is
also a unique custom of brother eating grains of bajri with
water, from their sisters' hands.