'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menofest - yup, another...

... it's that time of year. The world loves November and December for frolics of all kinds!

Today is भाई दूज् /Bhai Dooj.


What's all this about then? Well... Bhai Dooj is a Hindu festival which celebrates the love between a brother and sister. On the occasion of Bhai Dooj, women pray to the Gods for long and prosperous lives for their brothers. It is celebrated two days after Diwali. 
On Bhai Dooj, women invite their brothers home and apply 'teeka' or 'tilak' (the red powder) on their foreheads and offer prayers to the Gods while their brothers present them with gifts in return.
The festival, which shares similarities with Raksha Bandhan, is known by various names in different parts of India like Bhau Beej among Gujarati, Marathi and Konkani-speaking communities, Bhai Phota among Bengalis and Bhai Teeka in Nepal.
Mythology is divided on the origins of Bhai Dooj. According to one belief, Yamraj, the God of Death, visited his sister Yami on this day. Yami welcomed him with an aarti, applied 'tilak' on his forehead and offered him sweets. Moved by her love, Yamraj presented her with a gift that signified his love and affection towards her. The God of Death also declared that any brother who would receive an 'aarti' and 'tilak' from his sister on this day should never be afraid of death. This story is the reason why the festival is celebrated as Yama Dwitiya in some parts of the country.
Another popular origin story for the festival is that Lord Krishna's sister Subhadra welcomed him with an aartitilak, sweets and flowers after he killed the demon king Narakasur.

What this tradition serves to do now is strengthen family bonds and ensure that siblings know to look after one another's welfare with love and respect. The tradition holds that families will meet together for the event, but with diaspora and the tech-age, this Bhai Dooj festival has no doubt changed its form like the use of e-mails, e-greetings, mobile phones, chocolate and beverage hampers, and so forth. The basic significance and the feeling and emotion behind celebrating this wonderful festival are still the same, i.e., revealing and rejuvenating the eternal love of brother and sister.

9 comments:

  1. What a beautiful celebration and a wonderful bonding experience for brothers and sisters!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ohhhh I love this sentence,
    "What this tradition serves to do now is strengthen family bonds and ensure that siblings know to look after one another's welfare with love and respect."
    Hugs HiC

    ReplyDelete
  3. We love that sentence too, the one HiC quotes above. Families today can use all the bonding moments they can get. Misty and Timber have the same mother and father, but born about a year apart. So they are pretty much brother and sister, but we like to think the all three of us are siblings in our forever family. Mom only had one sibling, a brother, and sadly he passed away way too young at only age 27. She misses him a lot. This celebration reminds her of their time together growing up.

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

    ReplyDelete
  4. That was so profound. I lost my brother, who I was adopted with, 4 years ago to a sudden, aggressive cancer. He was in his 50's. On the plus side, before he died he told me to write his story, and I did, in my first two memoirs, both of which were #1 best sellers and donated six figures to small animal rescue. His light still shines brightly.

    ReplyDelete
  5. we will celebrate with you ... we both are so happy that we are brothers now... even when we sometimes act like that kane&abel...

    ReplyDelete
  6. strengthen family bonds is always a good thing, especially in these times when our world is like Armegeddon

    ReplyDelete
  7. cute photo of the beautiful children sharing the holiday ~ ^_^

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have 3 BIL but no brothers. All three are hundres of miles away.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That sounds like a festival my brother should know about, but then, we're both adopted!!!!!

    ReplyDelete

Inquiry and debate are encouraged.
For personal contact, please use the email box on the Wild YAM/Contact page.