Best Gifts For Bhai Phota Or Bhaiya Duj | The Celebration Of Sibling Bonding In Bengal

Bengalis celebrated the festival of Bhai Phota or Bhaiya Duj on the Dwitiya or the second day after the Kali Puja. The festival honors the beautiful bond of love and affection between brother and sister. In the Hindi belt, this ceremony is called Bhai Dooj or Bhai Tika. While in Southern India, this day is celebrated as Yama Dwitiya. 

Bhaiya Duj

The legend has it that Yamraj(Yama), the Hindu God of the dead, had a twin sister named Yamuna(the sacred river). Yamraj got so busy in his work that he did not visit his sister Yamuna for twelve long years.  On Bhai Phota day, Yamaraja visited Yamuna's home. Yamuna offered Arati and fed her brother Yama to his satisfaction.

Yama then told her that from now on, any brother who visits the sister on Bhai Phota day would escape the hand of Yamaraj. 

That is how the tradition of Bhai Phota or Bhaiya Duj started. 

Bhai Phota Festival

On the day of the festival, married sisters invite their brothers to their homes for a sumptuous meal. Unmarried sisters celebrate this at home. 

Sisters perform Aarti of their brother and apply a  tika(Phota/mark) on the brother's forehead. The sisters pray to Yamraj for the long and happy life of their brothers, and the brothers take a pledge to protect the sisters.

For the sisters, whose brother lives far away from her and can not visit her house on that day, complete the ritual by applying the phota on the door frame. 

In some cultures, the sister performs Aarti for the moon. That is why children also called moon Chandamama (Chanda means moon and mama means mother's brother).

Tika is prepared by mixing turmeric and curd. Sisters who do not have a brother put the tika to their grandfather. And their male counterpart takes it from their grandmother. 

To perform the ritual, both brother and sister must be more than five years of age.

Bhai Phota
Bhai Phota Sweets

Beautiful alpona (white rangoli using a paste of rice and flour) is painted on the floor, and the brother is made to sit on the Asana(seat). Older sister applies phota with the little finger of her left hand while if the sister is younger to the brother, she uses her right hand. The sisters recite the below lines while applying the Tika.

Bhaier kapale dilam phonta,

Jamer Duare porlo kanta,

Jamuna Dae Jomke phonta,

Ami di amar bhaike phonta,

Bhai jeno hoy lohar vata

It is also a time for family reunions as all brothers and sisters in the family get together. On this day, long queues are seen in front of the sweet shops across West Bengal.

Bhai Dooj gifts 

Brothers and sisters celebrate the occasion with zeal and enthusiasm. The brother brings a gift for his sister. Elder sisters also present the gift to their little brothers.

Bhai Dooj Gifts
Bhai Dooj Gifts

Best gift for sister on Bhai Dooj 

1. Cards and Chocolates - Write a personalized note on the cards and present it to your sister with chocolates.

2. Personalized Gifts - These gifts are in trend. A cup or photo album with your sister's picture will add a personal touch.

3. Soft Toys - We all know that Bengali girls are the best. If you want to pamper your sweet little sister, then gift her a big fluffy teddy bear.

4. Beauty Products - If your sister likes makeup, then the brothers can show their love by presenting beauty products. Combo packs of cosmetics can be purchased both online and offline. 

5. Apparel and Jewellery - Clothes such as Saree, Salwar suit, Kurti, Tops can be gifted based on the attire your sister prefers.

6. HandBags - We can get a range of options for bags in both branded and non-branded categories.

7. Books - If your sister is a bookworm then gift her a book from this must-read book collection.

8. Electronic Gadgets - If your purse permits, then you can also buy a mobile phone, kindle or laptop, etc.

Best gift for brother on Bhai Dooj 

For brothers, watch, wallet, clothes, belt, sunglasses, perfume, branded caps, t-shirts are the most common item brought by the sister. For brothers, who are interested in sports, sisters can present a sports kit. These days gift cards are also in trend. Using gift cards, they can buy an item of their choice.

We must understand that gifts are materialistic. But, the bond of love between sister and brother is eternal. That relation must grow stronger with each passing day.

Do let us know about how you celebrated Bhaiya Duj and what you bought for your siblings.

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  1. This article helped me to buy a gift for my sister. Nice suggestions. Thanks.