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Tihar festival, Nepal festival of lights and flowers

Tihar festival

Tihar Festival: 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.

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 numerous candles and festive lanterns will be lit up for the Goddess of Laxmi, 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 honored.

After Dashain, Tihar is the second biggest festival celebrated 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 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 is the day to honor and worship cows.

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 2019 starts from 25th October, 2019 and ends on 29th October, 2019.

DateDayActivities
25th Oct 2019KaagTiharWorshipping Crows and offering foods
26th Oct 2019KukurTiharWorshipping Dogs and offering meals
27th Oct 2019Laxmi PujaWorshipping Cows and Goddess Laxmi, Playing Bhaile
28th Oct 2019Guru PujaWorshipping oxen, Playing Deusi, Maha Puja by Newar Community
29th Oct 2019BhaiTikaWorshipping 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 celebrated 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 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 is the day to honor and worship cows. 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 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

Activites: 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 called Laxmi Puja. On this day, people 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 is regarded that Goddess Laxmi enters in the clean, decorated house; with this belief, people clean their house and the doorways, windows are well furnished with garlands which are made off marigolds (Sayapatri). Most of the homes are cleaned and decorated 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, Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, is thanked for all the benefits that were bestowed on the families by lighting 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 Tihar is called as Govardhan puja/Goru puja/Omaha puja and celebrated 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 is also called 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 who follow Vaishnavism perform Govardhan Puja, which is worship towards Goverdhan Mountain.

Cowdungrepresents the mountain and is worshiped.  The nights are decorated 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. In return, the house owners give them money, fruits, and Selroti.

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 collected for welfare and social activities.

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Day 5: Bhai Tika

Activities: Worshiping Brothers and Sisters

Date:29th October, Tuesday

This is the last day of Tihar and called BhaiTika. BhaiTika is celebrated on the second lunar day of Shukla paksha and mostly falls in the month of Kartik. 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 given 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 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 celebrated 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 this festival, friends and relatives will get reunion 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 celebrated as it marks the victory of good over bad.  This festival makes the relationship between animals and humans strong by observing crows, cows, dogs, and ox. People indulge in feasting and rejoicing. They clean their houses, put on new clothes, and 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 stuffed 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 the significant activities that are done during the festive period. It also protects our culture and traditional songs.

Although Tihar Festival is celebrated 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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