Bhai Tika - The Fifth (Last) day of Diwali/ Tihar
The last day of the five-day long festival is called ‘Bhai Tika.’ On this day, sisters worship their brother and pray for their long life, health, prosperity and well being to Yama (God of Death) and Yamuna (Sister of Yama). The rituals include breaking a walnut-implying she destroyed the hardship that stands on the way of her brother’s success; putting on a garland of ‘Makhamali’ flowers, reflecting the myth of a sister who saved her brother’s life from Yama (God of Death), as she requested him to wait for the ‘Makhmali’ flower to wither and die, before he could take her brother’s soul. Since the ‘Makhmali’ flower never withers or dries up he had to spare the life of her brother and leave them to live happily ever after. Sisters also put seven different colors of Tika (seven different vermillion) on the brother’s forehead wishing her brother to be as powerful as sun (in a belief Sun reaches everywhere). The rainbow color also symbolizes fresh start or newness in life. Brothers also reciprocate the rituals and make a promise to protect their sisters until the last breath of their life. Both exchanges gift that day to make it special and memorable.
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