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Tihar Festival Nepal

Posted on Oct 25, 2013 by NepalTravel under Culture and Festival

Tags: Tihar in Nepal,Deepawali festival,Kag,Kukur,Goru

Tihar also known as deepawali is one of the important festival in Nepal.  Tihar is celebrated for five long days so it is also called as Yama Panchak.  Tihar is the festival of lights and family bonding especially between brothers and sisters.

First Day: Kaag Tihar

The first day of tihar is known as Kag Tihar (Crow Tihar). On this day crows are worshipped by every Hindu household. According to Hindu mythology, crows are believed to be the symbol of grief and death. So, to eliminate grief from home and family people worship crows by offering foods to them.

 

 

Second Day: Kukur Tihar ( Dog Tihar)

The second day of tihar is known as kukur Tihar (dog Tihar). Dogs are considered as the messenger of God of Death, Yamaraj. On this day, People worship dogs (generally male dog) believing that it would avert deaths from their homes. People offer garlands, tika and foods to dogs. Dogs are regarded as the best friends of human beings so, it also highlights the bonding between dogs and human.

Third Day: Laxmi Puja

Laxmi puja is the third day of tihar. On this day, goddess Laxmi, Goddess of wealth and prosperity is worshipped. Hindus all over the world celebrate this day with lots of enthusiasm. From early in the morning people start to celebrate this day. In the morning, the cow (national animal of Nepal) is worshipped as goddess laxmi. Garlands, red tika, foods are offered to cows with lots of respect.  It is believed that Goddess Laxmi enters into the house which is clean and pure. So, people clean and purify each and every corner of their houses. Most of the people especially women, opt for fasting for whole day to worship goddess laxmi at night. Garlands are hanged in doors of every house.

Different types of delicious foods mainly sweets are prepared to offer at puja. With the use of red mud, red color Abir and white flour, symbols that represents footsteps of goddess laxmi is made from the main gate to the place where puja is being performed or puja room. Laxmi puja is performed at night. Houses are decorated with different types of garlands. Before starting of puja, lights (diyos or candles) are lit up all over the house starting from the main gate. Generally, supreme female member of the house performs the puja.  There is also a tradition of playing Bhaili on laxmi puja night for fun.  Especially girls in group visit houses, dancing and singing they ask for foods and money as gitfs.

Fourth Day: Gobardhan Puja

The fourth day of tihar is Gobardhan puja. On this day oxen is worshipped. Houses are all lit up with beautiful lights on the night. On this night, special puja is done by newar community. The puja is known as Mha puja, which mean worshipping oneself. This act is done to purify oneself. Boys indulge themselves in playing deusi on this night. By dancing and singing they visit different houses and ask for money, sweets and foods as gifts.

Fifth Day: Bhai Tika

One of the main and the last day of tihar is Bhai Tika. On this day, sisters worship their brothers and pray for long life and prosperity of their brothers.  They put seven different colors known as sapta rangi tika on brothers forehead and offer them garlands made from flower called makhamali organizing small ceremony according to their culture. People believe that makhamali flower never dies so garland made from makhamali is offerd to brothers in bhai tika. Sisters according to their budget give sweets, clothes, dry fruits and other gifts to their brothers while in return brothers also give money or other precious gitfs to their sisters. 

Bhai tika is celebrated with a special meaning. Sisters pray to yamaraj (god of death) to protect and ensure long life of their brothers.  On this day, temple of lord shiva Matrikeshwor mahadev situated in middle of Rani Pokhari (a historical pond at heart of Kathmandu city) is opened once in a year for general public. People who do not have brothers and sisters visit this temple in bhai tika.

People enjoy tihar by playing cards, deusi- bhailo, eating delicious sweets especially homemade sel-roti and cracking fire crackers. Tihar brings happiness, a good bonding between brothers and sisters and of course strengthen relation between family members.

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