Bhathru Dwithiya is another interesting name for the festival of Bhai Dooj. The festival is celebrated on the fifth and last day of Diwali Festival. This corresponds to the 'Dwithiya' or 'Dooj' day which is the second day after the new moon. Bhathru Dwithiya Festival is dedicated to the love and affection shared between brother and sister. On this day sisters apply sacred red tilak on the forehead of brother and invoke blessings of Lord Yamaraj for his long life and well being. Some also propitiate berry trees for the good of their brother. The festival helps to strengthen the bond of love between siblings and build family ties.
Bhathru Dwithiya Rituals
On the day of Bhatru Dwitheya it is customary for brothers to visit sisters and have a meal with her. This custom is called 'Bhagini Hastha Bhojanam' in Sanskrit. Meaning having a meal prepared by sister. The custom finds its roots from the legend of Yamaraj, the Hindu mythological God of Death. The story goes that after a gap of several years when Yamraj met his twin sister Yami or Yamuna on the Dwitheya day he received a warm reception. Yami applied tilak on brother's forehead, performed arti of him and gave him sumptuous meal. Yama was so pleased with sisterly affection that he announced that anyone who receives tilak from sister and share a meal with her will not be put in hell. Since then the custom of celebrating Bhai Dooj is being dutifully carried out by brothers and sisters.
Performing the rituals of the day, sisters apply sacred red tilak on brother's forehead, perform arti of him and give him a sweet to eat. This simple ceremony is symbolic of sister's prayer to Lord Yamaraj for the brother's long life and well being. Some even pray to Dharamraj's mythical record keeper Chithraguptha on this day. Many brothers and sisters also make it a point to take holy dip in the river Yamuna.
Bhathru Dwithiya Celebration
Festival of Bhathru Dwithiya is celebrated with gaiety and enthusiasm all over India. Brothers and sisters eagerly wait for the arrival of the festival. The occasion gives them the opportunity to relive fond memories of childhood and share expectations from the future. People make merry and relish the best of festive food and sweets. Exchange of Bhathru Dwithiya gifts between brothers and sisters heightens the enthusiasm for the day.