When is Bhai Dooj 2017, why is the festival celebrated during Diwali and what is the tika?

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EVERY year, Hindu brothers and sisters come together to celebrate Bhai Dooj.

But what is the festival, and why is it celebrated? Here’s what you need to know…

 Bhai Dooj is a Hindu celebration of brothers and sisters

Getty – Contributor
Bhai Dooj is a Hindu celebration of brothers and sisters

What is Bhai Dooj?

Bhai Dooj is a Hindu celebration of brotherly-sisterly love.

There are two celebrations of this special sibling relationship every year. The other is called Raksha Bandhan.

The word ‘Dooj’ means the second day after the new moon, while Bhai means brother.

Legend says that, on this day, the Lord of Death Yamaraj visited his sister Yami, who put the auspicious tika (a religious red mark) on her brother’s forehead.

The ‘tika’ can also be known as a ’tilak’ or ’tilaka’.

Hindus believe that any boy who receives a tika from his sister on this day will never be sent to hell.

According to another story, Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra on this day, after slaying the Narakasura demon.

She is said to have welcomed him with the holy lamp, flowers, and sweets and put the same protective spot on her brother’s forehead.

Women are revered during Bhai Dooj.

 Sisters put a red mark on their brother's forehead to ensure they are never sent to hell, and receive presents in return

Getty – Contributor
Sisters put a red mark on their brother’s forehead to ensure they are never sent to hell, and receive presents in return

When is Bhai Dooj?

Bhai Dooj is celebrated on the fifth and last day of Diwali.

This year, it is taking place on Saturday October 21.

How is Bhai Dooj celebrated?

On Bhai Dooj, girls are supposed to show their love by putting an auspicious tika or vermilion mark on their brother’s forehead.

They should also perform the ritual of ‘aarti’ by lighting a holy flame – as a mark of love and protection from evil forces.

In return, sisters are lavished with presents and blessings from their brothers.

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