Fast, Fairs and Festivals of India Fast, Fairs and Festivals of India
Bhiya Dooj
Celebrated In : Second day after Diwali (October/November)
Rakhi and Bhaiya-dooj are two separate festivals -- occurring on different days and having a common theme: Brothers' day. Both these Hindu festivals are celebrations of brother-sister love or bond.

On both these days, sisters pray for their brothers and renew the love (bond or relationship) between brothers and sisters. Brothers in turn promise to protect their sisters and help them during any troubles. This tradition probably started a long time ago when women used to be very vulnerable and depended on their families and relatives for protection. In spite of having usually her own father to protect her, a girl (woman) might also require the assurance from someone else -- at least when her father would become old or pass away. Thus the responsibility of helping her during any need probably was assigned to her brother or brothers. Moreover, if she wanted -- such as when she did not have a real brother -- she could select someone unrelated to her as a god-brother (Dharam-bhai) who would take responsibility to protect and help her in future just like a real brother.

On Rakhi day, a girl (woman) ties a Rakhi (cotton thread or band) around the right wrist of her brother (or god-brother) who promises to protect and assist her if she is ever faced with troubles. Similarly, on a Bhaiya-dooj, sister puts virmillian (sindhoor or red color) mark on the forehead (between eye-brows) of her brother (god-brother) and gives him some sweets and a small gift. Brother in turn promises to protect her. Moreover, on the occasions of Rakhi and Bhaiya-dooj, a brother may give a small amount of money to his sister as she ties a Rakhi on his wrist or puts a Sindhoor mark on his forehead.