National Hindu Students Forum (UK)

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Bhai-Dhuj


Bhai-Dhuj
(in Hindi), Bhaubeej/Bhau-Beej (in Marathi), Bhai Beej (in Gujarati) or Bhai Phota (in Bengali) is a ceremony performed by Hindus on the second day after Diwali.

Sisters celebrate their love for their brothers by putting an auspicious tilak (made from vermilion or sandalwood paste) on their brothers' foreheads. Sisters also bless their younger brothers. They perform an aarti to their brothers to honour them for taking care of them and protecting them, and pray for their well-being. Brothers lavish sisters with gifts and blessings (to younger sisters), along with pledges of protection and support.

The name Dhuj (or Beej) means the second day after the new moon, the day of the festival, and Bhai means brother. Phota means round dot. Bhai-Dhuj is also called Yama Dwiteeya as it's believed that on this day, Yama, the God of death and the custodian of Naraka visits his sister Yamuna, who puts the auspicious mark on his forehead and prays for his well being. So it is held that anyone who receives a tilak from his sister on this day would never be hurled into hell. The festival usually occurs in October or November of the Gregorian calendar.