Hindus across India observe festival of "Bhai Dooj"

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 15, 2012 15:10 hrs

Women across India celebrated 'Bhai Dooj' on Thursday.

In Allahabad, devotees gathered on banks of the River Yamuna to take a holy dip on the occasion of this sibling festival.

A priest, Keshav Nath, said: "Today, on the occasion of 'Yama Dwitiya', we celebrate in the Chitragupta Temple. People worship Yama. Devotees belonging to various religious communities worship Lord Chitragupta, pens and books. We pray before the deity so that he provides us a correct path," said Nath.

Legend has it that Yama, the God of Death had twin sisters named Yami or Yamuna.

Yami was transformed into the sacred River Yamuna in whose purifying waters people bathe on holy days. Yama was made the God of Death, whom all fear. On the occasion of Bhai Dooj, Yami calls her brother Yama to her home Yamuna, where she is said to offer aarti for his well being, and he in turn gives her a small gift.

This practice is observed in northern parts of India to this day.

In Amritsar, Surinder Kaur said: "We put vermillion on the forehead of our brothers and pray for his long life."

In Patna, Shruti said: "It is a very auspicious occasion which marks the relationship between brothers and sisters. Every sister prays for the long life of her brother."

Bhai Dooj is observed two days after Diwali. (ANI)

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