On the last day of five-day long Diwali festival, today Bhaiya Dooj is being celebrated. Bhaiya Dooj is known as Bhai Phota in Haryana and is celebrated with great enthusiasm by womenfolk in the state.
ON THIS day sisters pray and bless their brothers to have long and happy lives by performing Tilak or Tika ceremony. In return, brothers offer gifts and promise affection and protection. Bhaiya Dooj is also known as Bhau Beej, Bhathru Dwithiya, Bhai Tika or Bhai Phota.
The festival of Bhaiya Dooj falls on the second day of the bright fortnight or Shukla Paksha of the Hindu month of Kartika. Often sisters perform aarti for their brothers and apply a red tika on the forehead of brothers. On this ocassion gifts are exchanged between brothers and sisters as a token of love and appreciation for one another.
In the states of Haryana and Maharashtra, Bhai Phota or Bhau-beej is observed with great enthusiasm by the women who do not have brothers also. Such women worship the moon god considering it as their brother instead. And, so do the sisters, whose brothers live far away from them. They too send their sincerest prayers for a long and happy life of their brothers through the moon god. In Haryana, it is celebrated with ceremonious splendor along with a grand feast with many dishes for the brothers.
In Haryana, the festival also works as an occasion for family re-unions since brothers and sisters in the family get together to celebrate the festival.