Hindus and Muslims celebrate Bhai Dooj together in Kanpur

For the last many years, a locality in the Kanpur city of Uttar Pradesh has been giving a new meaning to the Hindu festival of Bhai Dooj. Every year on this occasion, both Hindu and Muslim people living here, gather at one place and celebrate the occasion. While Hindu sisters apply vermillion on the forehead of Muslim brothers and give sweets, the same is repeated by Muslim sisters as well and today this tradition has become a medium to strengthen the bond between two communities. In India, Bhai Dooj is observed for ages and have many tales associated with it. According to a popular legend in Hindu Mythology, after slaying the evil demon, Narkasur, Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra, who gave him a warm welcome with sweets and flowers and also applied a ceremonial tilak, a vermillion mark on his forehead and hence the festival of Bhai Dooj was born. Even though it is a small Hindu tradition but the way it is revered by the people of the Muslim community in Kanpur, has just increased its significance. Moreover, this brotherhood is not just limited to Bhai Dooj but other festivals, be it of Hindus or Muslims are also observed with the same enthusiasm. Bhai Dooj is made up of two words namely Bhai meaning brother and Dooj meaning the second day after the new moon which is a day of its celebration. Holding a special significance in the lives of a brother and sister, the occasion is celebrated two days a year. While the more famous one comes on the second day after Diwali, the other less popular one that comes a day after Holi is celebrated only a particular community.