A Hindu festival celebrated all over India, Bhai Dooj is observed on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha in the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar. Taking place right after Diwali, the day sees sisters praying for a long and prosperous life for their brothers, with the siblings exchanging gifts as well.
According to Hindu mythology, Bhai Dooj is celebrated to commemorate Lord Krishna's sister Subhadra's love for her brother. After Lord Krishna defeated Narakasur, Subhadra invited her brother to celebrate the victory and applied tilak on his forehead and performed aarti with Lord Krishna blessing her for the intimate gesture.
There is another story behind it as well, according to which Yamraj, the God of Death, visited his sister Yami or Yamuna, who welcomed him with an aarti, and after applying tilak on his forehead, offered him sweets. In return, Lord Yama presented her with a gift that signified their loving bond.
The festival celebrating the bond of love between a brother and sister is known by a number of names across the country.
Bhai Dooj: The entire North India calls it Bhai Dooj and it is observed during the Diwali Festival. It is the second day of the Vikrami Samvat New Year which starts from the lunar month of Kartika.
Bhai Tika: The festival is called Bhai Tika in Nepal, where it is the most important festival after Dashain or Vijaya Dashami. Observed on the fifth day of the Tihar festival, it holds special significance for the Khas people.
Bhai Phonta: Taking place on the second day after Kali Puja, it is called Bhai Phonta in Bengal.
Bhau Beej: It is called Bhau Beej by the Marathi, Gujarati and Konkani-speaking communities in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and Karnataka.
Apart from these, it is also called Yamadwitheya or Yamadvitiya as well as Bhatru Dviteeya, or Bhatri Ditya or Bhaghini Hastha Bhojanamu in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.