The fifth and final day of diwali festival is known by the name of Bhaiya Dooj in the hindi-speaking belt, Bhai Phot in Bengal, Bhav Bij in the marathi-speaking communities and in Nepal by the name of Bhai Tika.
After the diwali celebrations, sisters get ready for the most awaited ‘Bhai Dooj’ – when sisters ceremonize their love by putting an auspicious tilak or a vermilion mark on the forehead of their brothers and waves an aarti, she wishes him lot of love and protection from evil forces. Sisters are lavished with gifts, goodies and blessings from their brothers.
As the legend goes Yamraj, the god of death visited his sister Yamuna on this particular day. She put the auspicious tilak on his forehead, garlanded him and feed him with special dishes and sweets, they spoke to each other and enjoyed themselves. While parting Yamraj gave her a special gift as a token of his love and in return Yami also gave him a lovely gift which she had made with her own hands. That day Yamraj announced that anyone who receives tilak from his sister will never be thrown. Therefore this day of Bhayya Dooj is also known by the name of “YAMA-DWITIYA” Since then this day is being observed as a symbol of love between sisters and brothers. It became also imperative for the brother to go to his sister’s house to celebrate Bhai Dooj.
Lord Krishna, after slaying the Narakasura demon, goes to his sister Subhadra who welcomes him with the lamp, flowers and sweets, she puts the holy protective tika on her brother’s forehead and waves her aarti.
Yet another story behind the origin of Bhai Dooj 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.
The celebrating of this day has its own importance in continuing to maintain the love between brothers and sisters for it is the day of food-sharing, gift-giving and reaching out to the inner most depths of the hearts.