Nepal is a country rich in culture and traditions. The varieties of festivals and occasions we celebrate carry their own significance. The main festivals of Nepalese are the Dashain and the Tihar which they choose to celebrate with their close friends, relatives and family.
Dashain “The Greatest Festival of Nepalese”
Among the festivals we celebrate, Dashain being the greatest one for Nepalese is always celebrated with the zeal and in joyful ways. It is celebrated almost for 15 days in the month of October; 1st, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th days are the most important.
The 1st day is welcomed following the rituals of ‘Ghatsthapana’ by worshiping Goddess Durga for 9 consecutive days. The main day is called ‘Dashami’ which is also known as ‘Vijaya Dashami’, the day when Goddess Durga got victory over the demons. On this day the seniors of the family put ‘Tika’ and ‘Jamara’ giving blessings to their younger ones.
The special money given to the younger ones is received as ‘Dakchhina’. This day is like a family reunion where everyone enjoys with the varieties of food, playing cards, flying kites, etc. Dashain not only reunites the families and friends but it also gives the working people time to relax and enjoy with family.
Tihar “The Festival of Lights”
Tihar is another beautiful and dazzling festival for the Hindus which is the second greatest festival for Nepalese, after Dashain. It is said to be the festival of the lights. The cities and the surroundings look very clean and wonderful with the smell and presence of the marigold flowers during the festival.
The festival usually falls in the month of October or November, celebrated for five days worshiping 4 different animals i.e. Kaag Tihar (Crow Tihar), Kukur Tihar (Dog Tihar), Gai Tihar (Cow Tihar)- the main day to worship the goddess of wealth, Laxmi, Goru Tihar (Ox Tihar) and the 5th day is celebrated as ‘Bhaitika’ which signifies and carries great importance for the love and concern between brothers and sisters.
The sisters put the seven colors Tika on the brother’s forehead and pray for their longer life and progress. Tihar always brings excitement and jolly mood in the families and friends; playing ‘Deusi-bhailo’ and trying the best to welcome goddess Laxmi, who is believed to bring the happiness and wealth in the life of everyone.