Tihar festival in Nepal
Nepal is a country united in diversity is not only popular all around the world with its majestic mountains & amazing natural attractions, but also it is the perfect amalgamation of religious values & cultural variety. More than hundreds of different ethnics groups, their languages, traditions, culture & festivals are the other attractions that amazed visitors all over the world.
Tihar is the second biggest festival of Nepal which celebrates five days in overwhelming ways across the country, particularly Hindu religious groups. It falls from October to November. During the festival, people will honor Laxmi “goddess of wealth”, cows, Dogs & crows. Along with this, there are many enjoyable moments in this festival with friends & family.
Significance of Tihar festival Nepal
This second biggest festival of Nepal next to Dashain is also known as Tihar or festival of light & celebrated especially Nepal & India as well as all over the world, who follow Hinduism. Those five days have different sufficiency in each day. Crows are worshiped on the first day as a symbol of ” the messenger of death”. The second day of Tihar is to honor dogs “the guardian for the god of death”. The third day is the day of Goddess Laxmi & worship wealth as well as cows. The fourth day is an honor to Ox & final fifth day is Bhai tike, for brothers & sisters.
Every year during the Tihar festival people paint their house, like Christmas & new year in other parts of the world. Nepalese put on their new clothes and decide to start a new life. The merchants begin to use the new account book instead of the old one
Day first of Tihar festival Nepal: Kaag Tihar/ Crow day
On this first day of Tihar, people worship crows by giving them rice or any food, as a messenger of death. Sacred belief is that those crows are busy all over the year & this the only rest day of the year so, if people don’t worship crows on this day they will be unhappy & inform some bad news in the coming year.
Day second of Tihar festival Nepal: Kukur Tihar/ Dog day
On this second day of festival people in Nepal honor dogs ( kukur) for the belief that the dog can guarantee the souls to get to heaven. People worship dogs by putting tika on their forehead & calendula garlands with fancy dinners. On this day Nepali policemen worship patrol dogs with beautiful presents like garlands & painted forehead with red cinnabar to thank for their contribution to society.
Day third of Tihar festival Nepal: Gai Tihar & Laxmi puja
This is the honoring day for cows & goddess Laxmi. This day is considered one of the important days of this festival. On this day people wake up early & clean the house thoroughly, then after taking a cozy bath they start to worship cows by putting red Tika & beautiful wreaths, with holy string from the priest tied to their tails.
When night falls people start to decorate the house with dazzling candles, oil lamps and bright lights are lit up at the doors, steps, even on the roof. All Nepalese make their home as luminous as possible to attract the Laxmi (goddess of wealth). People worship some of their money & tangible wealth with ritual values that earn more in the coming year. Nepali people start to visit villages with groups by singing Deusi & Bhailo songs for the blessing. In return, the house owner gives them money, fruit, bread & sweet.
Day fourth of Tihar festival of Nepal: Goverdhan puja or Goru puja
On this day ox is worshiped as an indispensable helper for the farmer. Considered as the representative of Govardhan Mountain, cow dung is worshiped in Govardhan Puja. Besides that Newari new year also starts in Kathmandu valley. All Newar families get united & perform Mha puja worship themselves.
In the evening the elder member of the family drew two geometric figures. One is dedicated to the death of Yama & his messenger, while the other is painted for blessing the whole family. Finally, all get-together & have a special family feast.
Day five of Tihar festival of Nepal: Bhai tika
The fifth or last day of Tihar is known as Bhai tika. On this day brothers & sisters get together & place multi-colored tika on the forehead along with splendid garlands to the brothers. Sister offers them some gifts as shaguns, in return a brother also puts her tika & gives some money. They bless each other for good health & prosperity in the upcoming days, which enhances the close relationship between brothers & sisters.