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Tihar Festival, Nepal Festival of Lights and Flowers

Tihar festival

Tihar Festival the Festival of Lights

Nepal is a multi-lingual and multi-cultural country. So, people do observe multi-dozen feasts and festivals. All of the festivals having a particular occasion sort of an ending of gods over the demons, birth of somebody so on. Out of them, Deepawali is the prime one national festival. It usually falls at the end of October. Tihar festival is one of the popular in Nepal.

Nepal is a multi-lingual and multi-cultural country. Ranging from Jatra to the most significant festival Dashain, each of the festivals depicts peculiar characteristics. People celebrate many festivals that differ regionally or according to ethnicity, religion, and traditions. Tihar, also called Diwali or Deepawali, ranks second only to Dashain in Nepal. As they are many candles and festive lanterns that will be lit up for the Goddess of Laxmi. Therefore, Tihar is also well-known as the festival of lights.

Tihar comes after the Dashain, and in the night period, Kathmandu can be seen as the city of lights.
Tihar festival often falls between mid-October and mid-November. In this festival, crows, dogs, cows, and Laxmi(the goddess of wealth and luck) are honor.

Tihar is celebrating after the Dashain festival

After Dashain, Tihar is the second biggest festival celebrating in  Nepal. This festival is mainly dedicated for five days.
Tihar Festival is the second biggest festival that is celebrated for five days all over Nepal. And each Tihar holiday has its speech and portray peculiar functionalities and importance. The first day of Tihar is to worship crows, which are considering as “the messenger of death.” The second day of Tihar is to honor dogs who are considered as “the guardian for the god of death.” The third day is to welcoming day of the deity of Laxmi. However, on the fourth day, we are worshiping the cow, a National animal of Nepal.

The final day of the Tihar festival is called Bhaitika or Tihar tika, which is the day of exchanging happiness, gifts among brothers and sisters. All the family members, away from home, gather together and celebrate joyously. They celebrate their joy with each other and eat delicious food.

Tihar festival

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Tihar festival 2020 starts from 13th November 2020 and ends on 17th November 2020.

DateDayActivities
Nov 13

2020

KaagTiharWorshipping Crows and offering foods
Nov 14
2020
KukurTiharWorshipping Dogs and offering meals
Nov 15

2020

Laxmi PujaWorshipping Cows and Goddess Laxmi, Playing Bhaile
Nov 16

2020

BhaiTikaWorshipping Brothers/sisters, Exchanging gifts

 

Here are the first essential things Nepalese people do in Tihar:

  • Give Your Home a Makeover with Best Color
  • Make it a Family Affair
  • Light Firecrackers
  • Send best wishes to all your friends and relatives through messages, media
  • Socialize with people

Traditions of Tihar Festival

After Dashain, Tihar is the second biggest festival celebrating in Nepal. This festival is also mainly dedicating to five days. Tihar Festival is the second biggest festival that is celebrated for five days all over Nepal. And each Tihar holiday has its speech and portray peculiar functionalities and importance. The first day of Tihar is to worship crows, which are considered as “the messenger of death.”

The second day of Tihar is to honor dogs who are considered as  “the guardian for the god of death.” The third day is to welcoming day of the deity of Laxmi. However, the fourth day we worship the cows a National animal of Nepal. The final day of the Tihar festival is called Bhai Tika or Tihar tika, which is the day of exchanging happiness, gifts among brothers and sisters. All the family members, away from home gat, her together and celebrate joyously. They celebrate their joy with each other and eat delicious food.

Following is the detailed explanation of each day of the Tihar festival and what importance it depicts:

Day 1: KaagTihar/Crow Day

Activities: worshipping crows
Date: 25th October, Friday
Kaag Tihar is marked as the first day of the Tihar. On this day, people offer rice to the crows, “the traveler of death.” This day is called the resting day for the crows as they are busy all year spherical. People worship crows to make sure that the crow’s area unit was happy. Otherwise, they’ll inform the bad news, and nasty things would happen within the coming back year.

People worship crows and ravens and offer them sweets and dishes by placing them at the roofs of houses. In Hinduism, the crawling of ravens and crows symbolizes sadness and grief. Thus, devotees offer crows with the sweet food to sort out pain and depression in the coming days. This day is also considered as the days representing divine attachment between humans and other animals.

Day 2: Kukur Tihar/Dog Day

Activities: Thanking dogs
Date: 26th October, Saturday

Kukur Tihar is the second day of Tihar; it is the day of thanking and worshiping gods. Kicha puja is the name given by the Newar community to this day. On these days, Nepalis can honor dogs, for they believe that the dog will guarantee the souls of the dead to induce to heaven. Individuals offer dogs with TiharTika and flower garlands, and so treat them with a sweet dinner. Dogs are regarded as the “the gatekeeper of death,” and saw as the messengers of Lord Yamaraj.  This day is also observed as Narka Chaturdashi.

Tihar festival

Day 3: Laxmi Puja

Activity: Worshiping Goddess Laxmi

Date:27th October, Sunday

The third day is the day with immense significance and is calling Laxmi Puja. On this day, people also worship cows. In Hinduism, a cow signifies prosperity and wealth. In ancient times, people benefited a lot from cows. Thus, on this day, people show their gratefulness to cows by garlanding and feeding their cows with the best grass. It regards that Goddess Laxmi enters the clean, decorating house with this belief.  As a result, People clean their house and the doorways, windows are well furnishing with garlands which are made off of marigolds (Sayapatri). Most of the homes are clean and decorates ornately. This can be meant to be a gesture to the Hindu “Goddess Laxmi” to come back down and bless the house with wealth and sensible luck.

In the evening, Every home praying the Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of wealth. She thanks for all the benefits that bestow on the families. Every house and shop is lighting on the gate by oil lamps (Diyo) or candles on doorways and windows to welcome prosperity and well-being. Besides this, girls play Bhaili by singing the folk bhaili songs, dancing, and visiting all the houses of the neighborhood. People will give them money, other sweets as a tip and share among themselves. Other than that, the night of this day is worth watching, as we can observe the lights all over the country that will give you fascinating views.

Day 4: Govardhan Puja/Guru puja

Activity: worshiping Oxen

Date: 28th October, Monday

The fourth day of the Tihar festival is calling as Govardhan puja/Goru puja/Omaha puja and celebrating according to the people’s specific background. As ox is an imperative helper for the farmer, individuals can perform Goru Puja for ox. This day also calls as Omaha puja, celebrating Newari New Year. Newari community celebrates Maha puja/Ma puja(worship of self) gathering at nights. Then all the members can have a special family feast and revel in some lucky food, like poached eggs, deep-fried fish, tasty desserts, etc. People following the  Vaishnavism perform Govardhan Puja, which is worship towards Goverdhan Mountain.

Cowdungrepresents the mountain and is worship.  The nights are decorating with different colors of lights. During the night period, Boys mostly sang Deusi songs, and tells the story of the festival, with one person in the group narrating and the rest as the chorus. They get some money, fruits, and Selroti from the house owners.

However, in these current days, many social workers, politicians, along with the group of young people, visit local homes and sing these songs. The fund they receive by playing desi is collecting for welfare and social activities.

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Day 5: Bhai Tika

Activities: Worshiping Brothers and Sisters

Date:29th October, Tuesday

The final day of the Tihar festival and calling as  BhaiTika. This is the day of brothers and sisters. Brothers and sisters gather after so much time on the auspicious occasion of BhaiTika. “Yampanchak” is another name that gives to Tihar. On these days, brothers and sisters can gather along and settle for Tihar quotes on their foreheads. Sisters would put the multi-colored tika on their brother’s forehead along with splendid garlands and supply them some Shaguns (a quite candy) as a Tihar gift.

And so the brothers would follow constant ritual to place Tika on their sisters and provides them some cash reciprocally. This festival is celebrating to make the brothers/sisters’ relationship more strong. And among those festivals, Tihar( Deepawali) is one of the celebrations. The sisters put Saptarangi (7 coloreds) tika or tilaka on the foreheads of their brothers, and brothers also put the same 7-colored tika in their sister’s forehead. Sisters worship their brothers wishing for the prosperous lives in the future.

Tihar festival

Celebrations of Tihar Festival

During the Tihar festival, relatives and friends meet each other and exchange Tihar gifts and greetings with each other. Generally speaking, Nepalis will celebrate eleven great festivals from mid-October to mid-November. Each house, stores, shopping complex, will lit varieties of colorful lights. Tihar festival is also famous as Deepawali and considered as the “festivals of lights.” All the city houses.

Importance of Tihar Festival in Nepal:

The festival of light, Tihar, is celebrating as it marks the victory of good over bad.  Although This festival makes the relationship between animals and humans strong by observing crows. Cows, dogs, and ox. People indulge in feasting and also rejoicing. They clean their houses, put on new clothes, and also taste various types of delicious foods. There is a public holiday in this festival for all the schools, colleges, and offices.

At night, every family and stores can lit forms of colorful lights, and also the sky is stuffing with spectacular fireworks. Throughout this festival, friends and relatives can get reunion and exchange Tihar gifts and greetings with one another.

Nepalese placed on their new garments and create the determination to begin a brand new life.

Celebrating these types of festival increase brotherhood among the people and makes relief from the daily chaos. Cooking a delicious meal, flying kites, decorating homes, and streets. Playing cards are significant activities that also during the festive period. It also protects our culture and traditional songs.

Although the Tihar Festival celebrates for a short span, this is the most enjoyable festival. Many people dance, sing, play cards, and engage in various delightful activities.

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