Bhai Dooj Teeka
Two days after diwali comes the bhaidooj festival. It marks the end of diwali celebrations and Bhai Dooj Teeka is a mark of auspiciousness. According to the Hindu scriptures and mythology: "A forehead without a Tilak is worthy of condemnation and they exist for names sake only." The ritual on bhaidooj is that the sisters put teeka on this day on the forehead of their brothers. The teeka is the sacred mark for Hindus.
The teeka is made with vermilion, sandal paste, roli or kumkum (red turmeric). A puja thali is prepared before the start of the ritual. Using sandal wood paste, red vermilion or a roli, the teeka is drawn and a few grains of rice is added. The brother sit on an Asana or mat and the sister draws the Bhai Dooj Teeka on his forehead. If the sister is elder then the brother touches her feet and she blesses her brother with rice grains and Dubya (green grass). Sweets are served to the brother and then the whole family engages into singing songs, playing games and anything that is enjoyable. On the other hand, if the sister is younger, the brother blesses her and showers her with gifts.
Bhai Dooj Teeka is applied at the space between the two eyebrows. The usual shape of the teeka is a vertical line on the forehead. For applying Tilak or teeka, the ring-finger and the thumb are used. The teeka is further decorated with unbroken rice grains. The basic idea of applying teeka by the sister is to pray to the Lord to protect her Brother from the evil effects existing in this world and from its binding cords.
The teeka symbolizes firmness, honor, brilliance, respect and faith of a sister. These are the blessings achieved. Through Bhai Dooj Teeka, the sister wishes health, and longevity and well being of her brothers. The unbroken rice grains added to teeka represent steadfastness and firmness of the brain and also a symbol of peace.