New Delhi [India], Nov. 1 : Devout Hindus across India on Tuesday celebrated the Sibling festival, Bhai Dooj, which marks the significance of the relation between the brothers and sisters.
Bhai Dooj marks the end of Diwali, the festival of lights. This festival is celebrated during the month of Kartik, eight month of the Hindu calendar, which begins with the new moon in November.
On this day, sisters perform the traditional ritual of applying vermillion or 'tilak' and tie holy thread on the wrists of their brothers, praying for their long and happy life.
Sisters pamper their brothers and present gifts. Brothers also reciprocate by gifting their sisters. In Allahabad, people thronged the banks of Yamuna River to take a holy dip and offer prayers. "The second day of the Hindu holy month of Kartik has a great importance. On this day, women, girls and their brothers take holy dip in the river. They worship to get salvation from their wrong deeds," said a local. Sisters also keep fast for their brothers on this auspicious occasion. "Bhai Dooj is celebrated on the second day after the Diwali. Sisters and brothers get ready on this day since morning. My sister applied vermillion on my forehead and fed me sweets," said a brother, said Ayush a local in Kanpur.
The festival was also celebrated with great fervour in Moradabad city. In Uttar Pradesh, Mathura, district administration has made elaborate arrangements in anticipation of huge crowd at Vishram Ghat along Yamuna for mass bathing.
Lakhs of people take the customary bath in the Yamuna on Bhai Dooj. Legend has it that Yamraj, the God of death, had twin sisters named Yami or Yamuna. Yami was transformed into the sacred river Yamuna in whose purifying waters people bathe on holy days.
Yama was given an equally important role and made the god of Death, whom all fears. On Bhai Dooj day, Yami or Yamaraja was called to his sister's home Yamuna, where she offered Aarti and a small gift to her brother.
Yama then told her that on this day brothers would be invited to their sisters' home and in return the brother would bring a gift for their sisters.