Delhi celebrates brother-sister bond with Bhai Dooj

October 28th, 2011 - 5:17 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 28 (IANS) Delhiites, like all across the country, Friday celebrated Bhai Dooj, which is part of the Diwali festival, with sisters applying vermillion on their brothers’ forehead which is believed to ward off evil.

Coming as it does two days after the main Diwali, Bhai Dooj tradition calls for sisters to visit their brothers’ house for puja. In return, brothers bestow gifts upon their sisters.

Women in ethnic wear were seen in Metro coaches, aboard city buses and on vehicles on Delhi roads, carrying huge packets of gifts.

“The sentiments of the festival are like Rakhi. But it is opposite in the way that on Rakhi, the brother promises to protect the sister, and on Bhai-Dooj sister applies the ‘tika’ on the brother’s forehead for his good luck and protection,” says Sunita Chaudhary, a resident of Delhi.

There are several stories behind the origin of this festival. One popular belief says Yamaraj, the god of death, went to visit his sister at her house and she welcomed him by putting an auspicious mark on his forehead for his welfare.

Another one says Lord Krishna, after killing Narkasur, went to meet his sister Subhadra. She welcomed him with a vermillion ‘tika’, which started the tradition.

In the capital, rides on Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses were free for women from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m for the festival and the Metro made some 200 extra trips during the peak hours.

The festival is also celebrated as ‘Govardhan puja’, which is the worship of Lord Krishna.

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