When Is Rakhi
Home >> Other Indian Festivals like Raksha Bandhan

Other Indian Festivals like Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan is a bond of pure and chaste love between a brother and a sister. The thread of Rakhi is like an oath tied around the brother's wrist. The oath is for protecting the sister's honor and save her from the darks clouds of life. The same festival of honoring brother sister love is celebrated in different manners across the country. These festivals are known as Bhai Phota and Bhaiya Dooj. It is also known as “Yama Dwiteeya”

Bhai Phota is celebrated in West Bengal two days after Kali Puja. Whereas Bhaiya Dooj is held in almost all the Hindi speaking households. It is celebrated on the fifth day of Deepavali. In both these festivals, the sister puts a vermilion or Chandan mark (tika/tilak) on the brother's forehead, followed by some rituals. The mark or tika is an emblem of sister's love and prayer for her brother's long life and protection from evil forces.
Like Rakhi, this festival too has several legends and myths behind it. The festival is known as “Yama Dwiteeya” because on this day, Yamuna (Yama's sister) put the tilak of love on Yama's forehead. As the story goes, Yama, is saved from death by his own father, Sun-god. Therefore Yama becomes the God of Death and settles in the kingdom of Death forever. Yamuna mourned for her brother day and night. Finally when Yama visited his sister, she applied the tilak. This ritual is a sorrowful reminder of the parting faced by Yama and Yamuna. On this day the brother pays a visit to his married sister’s house, reminding that he has not forgotten her and that childhood memories are still fresh. Yama also blesses all the siblings who celebrate the festival and protects them from going into hell.

According to another legend behind the origin of Bhai Phota and Bhaiya Dooj when Mahavir, the founder of Jainism, attained nirvana, his brother King Nandivardhan was extremely sad and unhappy because he missed him. The king was comforted by his sister Sudarshana and the austere tilak was applied on his forehead. Since then, women have been revered during Bhai Dooj.
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