Bhai Dooj: Regional Names
The festival is known as:
- Bhai Dooj in entire Northern part of India, observed during the Diwali festival. This is also the second day of the Vikrami Samvat New Year, the calendar followed in Northern India (including Kashmir), which starts from the lunar month of Kartika. It is widely celebrated by Awadhis in Uttar Pradesh, Maithils in Bihar and people from various other ethnic groups. The first day of this New Year is observed as Govardhan Puja.
- Bhai Tika in Nepal, where it is the most important festival after Dashain (Vijaya Dashmi / Dussehra). Observed on the fifth day of Tihar festival, it is widely celebrated by the Khas people.
- Bhai Phonta in Bengal and it takes place every year on the second day after Kali Puja.
- Bhai Bij, Bhau Beej, or Bhav Bij amongst the Gujarati, Marathi and Konkani-speaking communities in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka.
- Another name for the day is Yamadwitheya or Yamadvitiya, after a legendary meeting between Yama the god of Death and his sister Yamuna (the famous river) on Dwitheya (the second day after new moon).
- Other names include Bhatru Dviteeya, or Bhatri Ditya.
According to a popular legend in Hindu mythology, after slaying the evil demon Narakasura, Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra who gave him a warm welcome with sweets and flowers. She also affectionately applied tilaka on Krishna’s forehead. Some believe this to be the origin of the festival.