Tihar, the second biggest Hindu festival in Nepal, has begun. So, here are some things you need to about it.
1. It is celebrated over the course of five consecutive days.
2. The first day is Kaag Tihar. On this day, crows are worshipped. The second day is Kukur Tihar (worship of dogs). The third day, Gai Tihar (worship of cows) and Laxmi Puja (worship of Laxmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth). The fourth day, Goru Tihar (worship of oxen). And the fifth and final day, Bhai Tika.
3. On the last day, which is the main day of Tihar, sisters put tika (a colourful mark) on the forheads of their brothers (bhai), praying for their long and happy lives. And in return, brothers give gifts to their sisters.
4. From the third day, youngsters and adults start to play Deusi Bhailo. It means they form groups and go from home to home singing, dancing, playing musical instruments, blessing and collecting money, fruits, selroti (a type of Nepali bread) and blessings.
5. Firecrackers used to be lighted in old days. But now the government has made playing with firecrackers a punishable action. And this year, Deusi Bhailo can be played until 9 pm only.
6. Tihar is also called the festival of lights. The festival signifies victory of light over darkness, good over evil. Diyos (oil lamps), candles and electric lights are lit inside and outside houses.
7. It’s not pinpointed exactly when people started to celebrate Tihar (or Diwali as called in India). But, according to the Hindu mythology, Yamaraj, the Hindu god of death, came to his sister Yamuna’s place on the day Bhai Tika is celebrated today. She put tika on his forehead and received a special gift. Then, he declared that anyone who receives tika from his sister on that day won’t die on the day of Bhai Tika. So, maybe that’s how the festival started.
8. And, the most important thing about Tihar is that it shows divine relationship between animals and humans. It shows deep respect to animals.
There is more to this unique diwali celebration in Nepal. And, on the occasion of Tihar, we wish you happiness and prosperity.