Bhav Bij / Bhai Bij /
Delightful Bhai Dooj festival is popularly known as Bhai
Bij, Bhaubeej or Bhav Bij
amongst the Marathi speaking community in
the states of Maharashtra and Goa. Just as Bhaidooj celebrations
of India, Bhai Bij or Bhaubeej falls on the last day of five-day-long
Diwali festival, on the second day of Diwali. This is the second day of
bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) of Hindu month of Kartik. On Bhaubeej
sisters pray for their brothers long and happy life as they perform
teeka ceremony. Brothers also bless their sisters and pamper them with
Bhav-Bij gifts. Highpoint of Bhai Bij celebration in Maharashtra is a
special sweet called Basundi Poori of Shrikhand Poori.
On the day of Bhaubeej or Bhai Bij sisters' invite their brothers for a
sumptuous meal and offer brothers' their favorite dishes. Following the
tradition, sisters' in Maharashtra and Goa, prepare a special square
shaped space on the floor. The square is further embellished with
beautiful designs using corn powder. Interestingly, before the brother
is made to step into this square place of worship, he is made to eat a
bitter fruit - Karith
in Marathi. This peculiar custom has its
root in a mythological legend, according to which Lord Krishna is said
to have tasted this fruit before he set out to kill demon Narkasura.
Here, brother stands for Lord Krishna who performed the noble deed of
killing the demon.
It may be noted that according to a popular Bhai Beej legend in Hindu
mythology, after slaying Narkasur, Lord Krishna visited his sister
Subhadra who gave him a warm welcome with sweets and flowers. She also
affectionately applied tilak on Krishna's forehead. Since then the
custom of celebrating Bhaubeej or Bhai Bij started.
Carrying forward the Bhaubeej ceremony in traditional style, sisters'
perform arti of their brother and apply a red tika on the brother's
forehead. This teeka ceremony, on the occasion of Bhai Bij signifies
sister's sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother.
In return brother bless their sisters and treat them with Bhaubeej gifts
or some cash.
As it is customary in Maharashtra to celebrate the auspicious occasion
of Bhaubeej, women who don't have a brother worship Moon God as
celebrate they must.
Bhai Bij Celebration
Festival of Bhai Bij is quite popular in Maharashtra and Goa and is
celebrated with lot of fervour and gaiety. Brothers and sisters look
forward to the occasion with immense enthusiasm. To add charm to the
occasion Bhai Beej Gifts are exchanged between brothers and sisters as a
token of love and appreciation.
Bhav Bij is the time for family reunion as all brothers and sisters in
the family get together. Close relatives and friends are also invited to
celebrate the Bhav Bij in several families. Delectable Basundi Poori and
Shrikhand Poori is relished along with several other festival special