Bhathru Dwithiya is another popular name for Bhai Dooj, an enchanting Hindu festival that cherishes the sanctity of brother - sister relationship. Bhathru Dwithiya falls on the fifth and last day of Diwali celebrations. This corresponds with the 'Dwitheya Day' meaning, second day after new moon. Sisters pray for their brothers long life as they perform arti on them and apply teeka on their forehead. Memories of good times spent in childhood are shared by brothers and sisters in the spirit of the festival. An exchange of gifts heightens the enthusiasm of the day.
A number of ceremonies and rituals are observed on the occasion of Bhathru Dwithiya. It is customary for brothers to visit their sisters on the day of Bhathru Dwithiya and share a meal with them. The custom is called 'Bhagini Hastha Bhojanam' in Sanskrit. Meaning sharing a meal with the sister. The tradition has its roots in the ancient legend which says that once Yamaraj, the Hindu mythological God of Death visited his twin-sister Yami or Yamuna after long period of separation on the 'Dwithiya Day'. Yami received her brother with warmth and affection and offered her brother a delicious meal. Dharamraj was extremely pleased with Yami's hospitality. He announced that anybody who receives a meal on the auspicious Dooj day in will never be pushed to hell.
Following the custom set by Yami, sisters apply tilak on their brother's forehead, perform arti on them and offer them a sweet. Sisters pray for their brother's long and happy life as they perform the rituals. Lord Yama Raja and his mythical record keeper Chithraguptha are also worshiped on the Bhathru Dwitheya day.
Bhathru Dwithiya is celebrated with lot of enthusiasm by brothers and sisters all over the country. Bhathru Dwithiya offers an opportunity for brothers and sisters to strengthen their bond of love and they take full advantage of the opportunity. Sweet memories of childhood togetherness are shared in an amiable atmosphere. Exchange of gifts on Bhathru Dwithiya further helps to nurture the sweet bond between siblings and the entire family participate in the happy occasion