Bhaubeej • भाऊबीज
About the Festival
Bhaubeej falls on the last day of five-day-long Diwali festival. This is the second day of the bright fortnight or Shukla Paksha of Hindu month of Kartika. On Bhaubeej, sisters pray for their brothers to have long and happy lives by performing the Teeka ceremony. Brothers give their sisters Bhaubeej gifts. An important part of Bhaubeej in Maharashtra is a special sweet called Basundi Poori or Shrikhand Poori.
On the day of Bhaubeej, sisters invite their brothers for a sumptuous meal often including their favorite dishes. The whole ceremony signifies the duty of a brother to protect his sister as well as a sister's blessings for her brother.
It may be noted that according to a popular Bhaubeej 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 started.
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Carrying forward the Bhaubeej ceremony in traditional style, sisters perform aarti of their brother and apply a red tika on the brother's forehead. This teeka ceremony, on the occasion of Bhaubeej signifies a sister's sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother. In return brothers bless their sisters and treat them with Bhaubeej or cash gifts.
As it is customary in Maharashtra to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Bhaubeej, women who don't have a brother worship Moon God Darpanagayesha instead.
Source: Wikipedia contributors, "Bhau-beej," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bhau-beej&oldid=388064589