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Bhai Dooj/Bhai Phota 2023 Date & Time, Bhaubeej Celebration

Published Date: 09-Jan-2023

Bhai Dooj or Bhaiya Dooj is observed on the second day after Diwali celebrations. Bhai Dooj is also known as Bhai Phota, Bhau Beej, Bhai Bij, Bhai Beej, Bhatru Dwitiya, Bhav Bij, Bhatri Ditya, Bhai Fota and Bhai Tikka. This day commemorates the sacred relationship shared between a brother and sister. Sisters apply tilak on the foreheads of their brothers and pray for their prosperity and longevity. According to the Vikram Samvat calendar, Bhai Dooj 2023 is observed on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha. In 2023, Bhai Dooj will be celebrated on 14th November (Tuesday).

Here you can learn about Bhai Dooj/Bhai Phota 2023 date, significance and background, celebrations, places to observe, culture, rituals and year-wise observations

Bhai Dooj/Bhai Phota History and Significance

Bhai Dooj 2023

Although, there are no texts stating the official tale related to the origin of Bhai Dooj. However, it is believed that after killing the demon Narakasura on the day which is now celebrated as Diwali, Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra who welcomed him by applying a tilak on his forehead. Since then, this day is celebrated as Bhai Dooj.

Another folklore states that on this day the lord of death, Yamaraja visited his sister, Yami who welcomed him with flowers, and sweets and applied tilak on his forehead. In return, the lord of death presented her with a gift which reflected his affection for her.

What is the Meaning of Bhai Dooj?

Bhai Phota or Bhai Dooj has a literal meaning that is derived from the two words Bhai and Dooj. ‘Bhai’ means brother and ‘Dooj’ is the second day after the emergence of the new moon. Hence, Bhai Dooj is celebrated on the second day after the festival of Diwali.

Why is Bhai Dooj called Yama Dwitiya?

Bhai Dooj is called Yama Dwitiya in the southern part of India. This name has been derived from the legend of Yama, who is the God of death and his sister Yami or Yamuna. According to this folklore, Yama met his sister on Dwitheya, which is the second day after the new moon. This particular incident started to be celebrated as “Yamadvitiya” or “Yamadwitheya” throughout the country. From that day onwards, some people in the country celebrate Bhai Dooj as Yama Dwitiya.

Bhai Dooj Tradition, Rituals and Culture

There are many rituals and traditions that revolve around the festival of Bhai Dooj.

Which God is Worshipped in Bhai Dooj?

Devotees take a bath early in the morning and worship Yama, Lord Ganesha, Chitragupta, Yamuna and the many messengers of Yama. There are numerous mantras that are chanted along with worshipping the idols.

Ritual of Dry Coconut

Giving dry coconut to brothers is considered a symbol of auspiciousness during Bhai Dooj. It is believed that when Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra after prevailing over demon King Narakasura, she embraced him with a warm welcome, flowers and sweets. She then applied tilak on Krishna’s forehead and gave him the dry coconut.

Other Rituals

  • The thali from which the brother is worshipped is beautifully decorated. The thali has fruits, sandalwood, vermilion, flowers, betel nuts and sweets.
  • According to traditions, sisters usually make a seat of rice flour for their brothers. The brothers sit on these seats for the sisters to perform their rituals.
  • Sisters pour water on their brother’s palms while reciting the holy mantra and tie kalava on their hands. Then, tilak is applied to the forehead.
  • After the tilak is applied, flowers of betel nut, Kaddu, betel leaves and coins are placed on the brother’s palms.
  • The sisters then perform the Aarti. Seeing a flying kite in the sky is often considered a good omen.
  • After the Aarti and Tilak are completed, the brother gives his sister a gift and pledges to protect her life.

Brothers meet their sisters on Bhai Dooj and complete the custom of ‘Bhagni Hasti Bhojanam’. In this custom, the brothers have to eat the food sisters prepare for them. It is said that this tradition was started by the God of death, Lord Yama.

Is there any Holiday on Bhai Dooj?

Bhai Dooj is not a mandatory holiday in India. It is an optional holiday provided in the private sector, employees can choose to take a day off on this festival. However, most businesses and offices remain open on Bhai Dooj.

Bhai Dooj/Bhai Phota/ Celebrations across India

Bhai Dooj 2020 | Bhai Dooj Celebration

Bhai Dooj 2023 | Bhai Dooj Celebration

Bhai Dooj (Northern India), Bhau Beej (in Maharashtra & Gujarat) or Bhai Phonta (Bengal) is similar to Raksha Bandhan. On this day, Indian women pray for the long life and happiness of their brothers. Sisters apply tilak on the forehead of their brothers while praying for their well-being. In return, men give gifts to their sisters and take a vow to protect them

Festivals that are Celebrated before Bhai Dooj/Bhai Beej

Bhai Dooj is a part of the 5-day Diwali celebration that includes Govardhan Puja as well. The festivities begin with Dhanteras and Naraka Chaturdasi on the first two days respectively.

1. Diwali

Diwali or Lakshmi Puja is celebrated on the 3rd day of the celebrations. Diwali is celebrated as Rama’s defeat of the evil Ravana and his triumphant journey back home after spending 14 years in exile. It marks the victory of knowledge over ignorance, joy over despair and light over darkness. It is celebrated on the Amavasya (or new moon) which is the 15th day of Kartik month, every year.

2. Govardhan Puja

Govardhan Puja which is also called Annakoot or Annakut is a festival celebrated by Hindus throughout India. It falls on the first lunar day of the fortnight of the Kartika month, which is the fourth day of Diwali. It commemorates the Baal Roop or the child form of Lord Shri Krishna. Devotees celebrate this festival by worshipping Govardhan Parvat (a hill) and offering 56 varieties of vegetarian food (Chappan Bhog) as a form of gratitude.

You May Also Like: Kartik Purnima 2023

Best Places to Observe Bhai Dooj Celebrations in India

Even though Bhai Dooj is celebrated throughout the country, there are a few states where the festival is observed with great fervour.

1. Bhai Phonta in West Bengal

Bhai Phota or Bhai Phonta is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Kolkata, West Bengal. The rituals and importance of this festival are deeply rooted in the Bengali society. Bhai Phonta is celebrated in Shukla Paksha of the Kartik month of the Bengali Calendar. Sisters fast from morning on the day of Bhi Phota. They also prepare sandalwood paste and organise tender grass shoots or ‘Durba’ and paddy grains.

Conch shells are blown when sisters put tilak on their brothers’ foreheads. Traditional Bengali breakfasts and lunches like Aloo Dum, different categories of fish and Luchi are made for this festival. Sisters also give sweet curd or Misti Doi to their brothers.

2. Bhai Bij in Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa

The people of Goa and Maharashtra celebrate the festival of Bhai Dooj as Bhav Bij. Brothers have to sit in a square on the floor after they consume a bitter fruit called Karith. This festival is also celebrated as Bhau Bij or Bhai Bij in Gujarat, Karnataka, Haryana and Maharashtra. In Gujarat, sisters celebrate Bhai Bij by applying traditional Tikal and performing prayers or special aarti.

3. Bhai Tika in Nepal

Bhai Tika is one of the most important festivals in Nepal after Dashain (Dussehra/Vijaya Dashami). This festival is also known as Bhaitihar, the meaning can be described as tihar of brothers. Bhai Tika is observed on the third day of the Tyohar festival. A special prayer is dedicated to Yamraj by the sisters to pray for the longevity and well-being of their brothers. A Tika – seven coloured long is applied on the forehead of the brothers by sisters. This occasion is also observed by the Bahun, Chhetri, Maithali, Tharu and Newari communities in Nepal.

Year-Wise Bhai Dooj Observances

YEAR DAY DATE Event/Festival
2015 Fri 13-Nov Bhai Dooj
2016 Tue 1-Nov Bhai Dooj
2017 Sat 21-Oct Bhai Dooj
2018 Fri 9-Nov Bhai Dooj
2019 Tue 29-Oct Bhai Dooj
2020 Mon 16-Nov Bhai Dooj
2021 Sat 6-Nov Bhai Dooj
2022 Wed 26-Oct Bhai Dooj
2023 Tue 14-Nov Bhai Dooj
2024 Sun 3-Nov Bhai Dooj
2025 Thur 23-Oct Bhai Dooj

Other Festivals in India with Holiday Type

Festivals in India Day Date Holiday Type
New Year Sunday 1 January Public
Lohri Saturday 14 January Restricted
Makar Sankranti Saturday 14 January Restricted
Pongal Sunday 15 January Restricted
Basant Panchmi Thursday 26 January Restricted
Republic Day Thursday 26 January Public
Guru Ravidass Jayanti Sunday 5 February Restricted
Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti Wednesday 15 February Restricted
Mahashivratri Saturday 18 February Restricted
Losar Tuesday 21 February Restricted
Holi Wednesday 8 March Public
Ram Navami Thursday 30 March Restricted
Mahavir Jayanti Tuesday 4 April Restricted
Good Friday Friday 7 April Public
Easter Sunday 9 April Restricted
Vaisakhi Friday 14 April Restricted
Eid Ul Fitr Saturday 22 April Public
Buddha Purnima Friday 5 May Public
Rabindra Jayanti Tuesday 9 May Restricted
Rath Yatra Tuesday 20 June Restricted
Eid Al Adha Thursday 29 June Restricted
Muharram Saturday 29 July Public
Independence Day Tuesday 15 August Public
Parsi New Year Navroz Wednesday 16 August Restricted
Onam Tuesday 29 August Restricted
Raksha Bandhan Wednesday 30 August Restricted
Janmashtami Thursday 7 September Restricted
Ganesh Chaturthi Tuesday 19 September Restricted
Id E Milad Thursday 28 September Public
Gandhi Jayanti Monday 2 October Public
Shardiya Navratri Sunday 15 October No Holiday
Durga Puja Friday 20 October No Holiday
Dussehra Tuesday 24 October Public
Valmiki Jayanti Saturday 28 October Restricted
Halloween Day Tuesday 31 October No Holiday
Karva Chauth Tuesday 1 November Restricted
Karnataka Rajyotsava Tuesday 1 November Restricted
Kerala Piravi Tuesday 1 November Restricted
Ahoi Ashtami Sunday 5 November No Holiday
Dhanteras Saturday 11 November No Holiday
Diwali Sunday 12 November Public
Kali Puja Sunday 12 November No Holiday
Lakshmi Puja Sunday 12 November No Holiday
Govardhan Puja Monday 13 November Public
Bhai Dooj Tuesday 14 November Restricted
Chhath Puja Sunday 19 November Restricted
Guru Nanak Jayanti Monday 27 November Public
Kartik Purnima Monday 27 November No Holiday
Christmas Monday 25 December Public

Further Read: Top Places to Visit in November in India

FAQs about Bhai Dooj

Q. Who gives money on Bhai Dooj?

A. Brothers bless their sisters on Bhai Dooj and give them gifts or money in return.

Q. Is Govardhan and Bhai Dooj the same?

A. No, Govardhan and Bhai Dooj are not the same festivals. Bhai Dooj is usually celebrated after the Govardhan Puja.

Q. Is Bhai Duj a national holiday?

A. Bhai Duj is celebrated as a public holiday in 5 states – Rajasthan, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Uttarakhand.

Q. Who is the sister of Bhai Dooj Yama?

A. Yamuna or Yami is the sister of Bhai Dooj Yama.

Q. Do sisters keep fast on Bhai Dooj?

A. Yes, sisters keep a fast for their brothers on Bhai Dooj and prepare delicious meals for them.

Q. Which God is Worshipped on Bhai Dooj?

A. Bhai Dooj is also known as Yama Dwitiya. The Lord of Death, Yamraj is worshipped along with Yama-Doots and Chitragupta who were the followers of Lord Yamraj.

Q. What is Bhai Dooj and what is the difference between Bhai Dooj and Raksha Bandhan?

A. Bhai Dooj is celebrated on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha as per the Hindu calendar month – Kartik. Whereas, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated during Purnima or full moon day in the month of Shravana which is the fifth lunar month in the Hindu calendar.

Q. What is eaten on Bhai Dooj?

A. A special thali is prepared for the occasion of Bhai Dooj with kumkum, supari, sweets, akshat, roli and gola (dried coconut).

Sargun Preet Kaur
Sargun has an appetite for challenges and creative hurdles that can help her grow as she conquers them one by one. With an innate desire to travel the world, she weaves through life by visiting her dream destinations. When not in her creative zone, Sargun loves to smash in badminton and binge-watch her favourite shows.
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