The Bhaubeej Festival in Maharashtra
Bhaubeej is one of the most awaited and auspicious days for the Maharashtrian, who respect this day very much. Today life has become fast paced and people have very little time to visit each other or communicate with each other. Festival wishes are communicated to each other by means of SMSes and Emails, as people have no or less time for each other and this type of communications come very handy, due to its convenience factor, visiting each others house is really uncommon.
But Bhaubeej is one day which no brother or sister would give any excuse for. Bhaubeej is a day when a brother even from his busy schedule will try and take out some time or a day off just to spend some quality time with his sister. Even for sisters, it just the same feeling and emotions attached to this festival! This day is full of emotions and memories, when brothers and sisters continue their funny fights over gifts or any other event past the memory lane.
Bhaubeej falls on the last day of Diwali, i.e. on the 2nd day of Kartika Month as per the Hindu Solar Calendar. As per the schedule of Diwali 2010, this year Bhaubeej falls on 7th of November 2010, which is a Sunday. Bhaubeej truly forms an important element of Diwali and since it is always on the last day, it thus forms a conclusive part of this festival.
Why Bhaubeej is celebrated
As per the Hindu Mythology, Bhaubeej was first celebrated between Lord Krishna and his sister Subhadra. The tale goes such that when Lord Krishna killed the Demon Narkasur, Subhadra waited for his arrival. When Lord Krishna arrived she gave him a warm welcome by cooking delicious meals and welcoming him with sweets and flower garlands. Subhadra applied tikaa on Lord Krishna's forehead and did aarti for his long life. Lord Krishna affectionately gifted his sister with valuable gifts. And this is how Bhaubeej was celebrated for the first time and then went to become one of the great known festivals of Hindus.
Though Bhaubeej ritual is more or less similar to that of Raksha Bandhan, still it has its own significance. During Rakshabandhan, a sister visits her brother's house and ties him rakhi. But unlike Rakshabandhan during Bhaubeej, a brother visits his sister's house. The sister actually invites her brother during this occasion. On this auspicious day, brothers bring traditional Maharashtrian Diwali delicacies and sweets along with gifts. After an elaborate meal, the sisters perform Aukshan to their brothers and apply tikaa. They feed them sweets and give them gifts.
The brother too, on the other hand distributes gifts and the sister prays for his healthy and wealthy life. Brothers too take an oath to protect their sisters in any way and save them for getting harmed. Special Maharashtrian delicacies are cooked by the sisters with great enthusiasm. This festival adds love to the existing relationship between brothers and sisters. It is one form of a get together where all the close family comes together and celebrates Diwali in their own unique way.