Monday, July 22, 2024

Bhai Tika: A Colorful Ceremony

One of the most significant Hindu holidays for sisters and brothers is Bhai Tika, a colorful and an equally meaningful ceremony. It falls on the final day, or fifth day, of Tihar. The relationship between a brother and their sister is honored at this festival. The sisters pray and worship Lord Yama, the Lord of Death. They pray hoping for their brothers to live long and prosperous lives.

The Legend

According to the legend, a girl named Yamuna once prayed for her sick brother to live a long and healthy life. When Yama, the god of death, arrived to take her brother with him, she begged to worship her brother for a short while. She made a lengthy ceremony for her brother and Yama after Yama granted her wish. He was really happy with her and assured her that he wouldn’t take her brother’s soul until the flowers and turf grass offerings were still fresh and unwilted. Yama gave the boy a long time because the turf grass and flowers had not withered and remained fresh until the next Bhai Tika. The sisters have been performing the festival rituals ever since.

The Rituals

The brothers receive a special sagun, or masala packet, on this occasion. Since the brothers used to have to walk a long distance to their sister’s house for the celebration, it is said that this tradition began as a loving sister packing a healthy snack pack for her brother to take back home. The primary objects used for the worship are the turf grass, marigold flower, and makhamali flower, which stay fresh for a long time. Some sisters also offer cloth pieces along with the masala. 

In order to ward off bad luck, the sisters first worship the diyo, kalash, and Ganesh that they have placed in a nanglo. After that, they surround their brothers with a border made of water and oil. Next, they worship a citron (bimiro) outside the door. Afterward, they close the door after smashing a whole walnut that they place next to the bimiro with a lohora. The belief is that this ritual is performed to keep Yama out of the brothers’ way and out of the room. Subsequently, the brothers are adored and a vibrant, typically rainbow-hued tika is applied to their forehead.

After that, they are decorated with a garland of flowers. A bunch of turf grass is placed on their head, placed inside their ear, or added to the garland. Lastly, the brothers touch their sisters’ feet and give them gifts. Gifts typically include money or clothing. Brothers also apply tikas to their sister’s foreheads. After feeding the brothers, they are sent home with the masala and other presents.

Bhai Tika Gifts
Bhai Tika Gifts

Auspicious Time

The National Calendar Determination Committee has specified that the best time for offering Tika this year is 10:51 AM. Despite this, the Committee mentioned that Tika can be offered at any time throughout the day.


In this colorful ceremony that is Bhai Tika, the bond between siblings is strengthened. This festival not only brings joy, but also fosters a sense of togetherness within families. With that, we would like to wish you all a happy Bhai Tika. Enjoy and be safe!

Appsha Digital

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