Bhai Phota: The celebration of Bengal & gifts for Bhai Phota

As we know, the occasion of Bhaidooj is celebrated across different states in India. Due to its diverse popularity in multiple states, every ritual and tradition of Bhaidooj festival varies based on the culture.

In Bengal, the festival of siblings is popularly known as Bhai Phota. It is celebrated with grandeur on the second day after the Kali Puja all over West Bengal. The auspicious day is marked to commemorate the bond between siblings that has evolved over time. Unlike other states, the festivities of Bengalis on the day of Bhai Phota are quite different.

Ceremonies of Bhai Phota

Every Bengali household commences the festival with the sound of the conch shells in the morning. On this day, a sister invites her brother and the rest of the family members at her house to perform the ritual. After the entire family gathers in the centre of the house, she makes her brother sit on a small cotton mattress known as ‘Asana’ among Bengalis.

Later, she applies tilak or phota made from chandan, kajal, and dahi on her brother’s forehead while chanting prayers for his well-being. Some of the versions of mantras that are uttered by sisters on Bhai Phota are:

Bengali version:

  • Bhaier kapale dilam phonta,
  • Jamer Duare porlo kanta,
  • Jamuna Dae Jomke phonta,
  • Ami di amar bhaike phonta,
  • Bhai jeno hoy lohar vata.

English version:

  • I put a "phota" on my brother's forehead
  • To make my brother immortal
  • "Yamuna" gives a "phota" to "Yam"
  • I give a "phota" to my brother
  • Brother may become as tough as iron.

For applying phota, there are two ways:

  • If the sister is older to her brother, she must apply phota with the little finger of her left hand
  • If the sister is younger to the brother, she uses her right hand

After the phota-applying ceremony, she showers him with sweets and gifts. As per Bhai Phota in Bengali traditions, brother seeks blessing from his sister by touching her feet. In return, she gives him grains of rice and durba (grass blades). Post that, every brother surprises his sisters with Bhai Phota presents.

Exchange of gifts

The evolving times have significantly improved the bond between siblings. Today, brothers openly convey their love and affection with innumerable bhai phota gifts. Below are a few gifting options to surprise sisters on the auspicious occasion of Bhai Phota in 2020:

  1. Eco-friendly gifts
  2. The rising pollution and plastic generation on Diwali has compelled many of us to celebrate the festival in an eco-friendly way. This festive season, celebrate the joyous occasion by sending gifts that do not have a hazardous impact on the environment. For starters, choose jute potli instead of plastic, vegan nuts instead of mithai, and so forth.

  3. Personalised gifts
  4. An excellent way to shower all your love and affection is by sending personalised gifts to your near and dear ones. This year, pamper them with personalised chocolate boxes that spread happiness and joy on the festive occasion. Choose an exclusive chocolate box for them and add a dash of personalisation to give it a special meaning.

  5. Handmade gifts
  6. Is there any other pure form of expressing love than giving each other handmade gifts? Perhaps, not. Even a simple handmade gift can add a greater meaning to it. So, pamper your loved ones with handmade gifts, such as greeting cards, decorative lamps and lanterns, etc.

Bhai Phota Celebrations

Once the ceremonies of the Bhai Phota festival is over, the entire family gathers together and continues the celebrations with great enthusiasm. They come together and sing, dance, and play several games. The merriment is doubled with a wholesome lunch and scrumptious snacks.

In a nutshell, Bhai Phota is a much-awaited festival in the state of Bengal. The entire purpose of the festival is to express genuine love and affection towards siblings. This year, mark the day with lots of gifts for your brother. Happy Bhai Phota, guys!

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