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Hi ppl, today is Tikka as we panjabis call it... or bhaidooj for north indians and bhau beej for those on the western side. Whatever you call it, the essence of the festival is the same. The sister puts a tilak of red vermillion on her brother's forehead and wishes for his long life. Ever since I got married, I used to send my tikka and a handwritten letter to my brother. This year, we skyped! It was definitely better than not seeing his face at all... he missed the hand written letter though. It was part of our tradition and he cherishes the letters. He claims that he has carefully kept all of them in his possession! Such a sweetheart I tell you...
That's him and me!
Coming to the festival itself, it is always the second day after Diwali. I think this was started for married girls! You know back when the girls were married off at a young age and sent to their in-laws' place. They were sure to miss the families na? Hence the tradition of brother travelling to her house for tikka. On rakshabandhan, it is the girl who comes to the brother's house to tie rakhi. On tikka, the brother does. Another benefit of this festival would be that the brother would come bearing diwali gifts for the whole family. Kind of befitting the age old traditions of milking the girl's family. Other than this part, everything else makes sense to me.
Wishing all the brothers and sisters a very happy Bhai Dooj!