In the multicultural city of Sydney, Australia, where people from diverse backgrounds come together to celebrate various festivals, Bhai Dooj, a significant Indian festival, is embraced with open arms. This year, on November 15, 2023, Indian families in Sydney will gather to celebrate this special occasion, which is dedicated to the beautiful bond between brothers and sisters. In this article, we will explore the significance of Bhai Dooj, the customs and traditions associated with it, and how this festival is celebrated in the heart of Sydney.
The Significance of Bhai Dooj
Bhai Dooj, also known as Bhau Beej or Bhai Tika, is a Hindu festival that falls on the second day of the bright fortnight in the month of Kartik, according to the Hindu lunar calendar. It is a day dedicated to strengthening the bond between brothers and sisters. The festival celebrates the love, protection, and care that a brother provides to his sister, while the sister blesses her brother and prays for his well-being. It is a day when siblings come together to express their love and gratitude for each other.
Customs and Traditions
- Tilak Ceremony: The Bhai Dooj celebration begins with the sister applying a vermillion or sandalwood paste tilak on her brother’s forehead, and she offers sweets and gifts to him. This tilak is believed to protect the brother from evil forces.
- Aarti: After the tilak ceremony, the sister performs an aarti for her brother, lighting a diya (oil lamp) and revolving it around him to ward off negative energy.
- Exchange of Gifts: Brothers reciprocate by giving gifts to their sisters as a token of their love and appreciation. These gifts can vary from chocolates and clothing to gadgets and jewelry.
- Feasting: Bhai Dooj is also about delicious food and sweets. Families prepare traditional Indian dishes and sweets to savor together, symbolizing the sweetness of the sibling relationship.
Celebrating Bhai Dooj in Sydney
Sydney, with its multicultural society, offers a unique blend of traditions and cultures, making it a perfect place to celebrate Bhai Dooj. Indian families in Sydney come together for this special occasion, and the celebrations often include:
- Community Gatherings: Many Indian community associations and temples in Sydney organize special events and ceremonies to facilitate Bhai Dooj celebrations, providing a sense of unity among the Indian diaspora. Keep an eye Indians in Sydney Facebook Group
- Traditional Attire: On Bhai Dooj, it’s common to see people dressed in traditional Indian attire. Sisters wear beautiful ethnic dresses and jewelry, and brothers also don traditional clothing for the occasion.
- Indian Sweets: Indian sweet shops in Sydney experience a surge in business during this time as people flock to buy traditional sweets like gulab jamun, rasgulla, and barfi.
- Gift Exchange: Sydney’s shopping districts witness an increased demand for gifts and presents. Brothers and sisters visit local stores and malls to find the perfect gift for each other.
Bhai Dooj is a beautiful celebration of the sibling bond, and its popularity extends beyond the borders of India. In Sydney, the Indian community comes together to mark this occasion with great enthusiasm and reverence. On November 15, 2023, Indian families in Sydney will once again partake in the rituals and customs of Bhai Dooj, strengthening their sibling bonds and keeping their cultural heritage alive in the heart of Australia.