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Tihar Festival (Deepawali)

Laxmi Pujaa

Tihar also known as Deepawali, Festival of light is the second greatest festival of Nepal. It is celebrated five days Which comes soon after Dashain. Tihar is worshiping of different animals such as crow, dog, cow etc. During The festival all the houses in the city and village are decorated with oil lamps and candles are lit both inside and outside of the houses to make it bright at night. Thus during the night the entire village or city looks like a sparkling diamond. At occasion of Deepawali one day is celebrated for goddess Laxmi and the Other one is celebrated to worship brothers for their long life. The five days festival is considered to be of great importance as it shown reverence to not just the human and God. It Is also be the animal like crow, cow, Dog etc, who maintain an intense relationship with humans.

Goddess Laxmi is the wife of almighty Lord Vishnu. She was formed from the ocean and she has all the wealth of the seas. She sites on a full-grown lotus and her steed is the owl. On the third day of the festival at the stroke of midnight she makes a world tour on her owl looking how she is worshiping.

Day 1: Kag Tihar

Tihar Festival - Kag Tihar

The first day of the festival is called Kag Tihar ( Worship of the crow). In this day crow are worshiped by offering of sweets and dishes on the roof of the houses. Tihar in Nepal and Diwali in India represent the divine attachment between Human and other animals and birds in our nature.We worship crow before having our meal. We feed the crow during this day as god. To strengthen the worship of nature, all these rituals are introduced in Hinduism.

Day 2: Kukur Tihar
Tihar Festival - Kukur Tihar - Dog Festival in Nepal

The Second of the tihar is called Kukur Tihar (worshiped of the dogs). Dog is belived tp the messenger of Lord Yamaraj, the God of death is worshiped once a year on this day. People offer garlands, Tika and delicious food to the dogs.

Day : Gai Tihar and Laxmi Puja

Tihar Festival - Laxima Puja

The morning of third day is Gai Tihar (worship of Cow). In Hinduism the cow is sign of prosperity and wealth. People believed cow is the symbol of Laxmi (Goddess of wealth). On this day people show their gratefulness to the cow by garlanding and feeding the cow with the best grass and food. All the houses are clean and doorways and window are decorated with garlands made of different flowers.

In the evening all the houses they worship Laxmi by lighting oil lamps or candles on doorways and windows to welcome prosperity and well being. At night the people enjoy dancing and visiting all the houses of the village with many musical instruments playing a historical game called Bhailo all night long. They collect money from all the houses by singing and dancing and share the sweets and money amongst themselves.

Laxmi Puja is performed at dusk using red mud, and puja is often done by a female in the family. She uses her hand covered with red mud to make a symbolic foot-print on the floor entering the home and makes a trail leading to the Puja room.

Laxmi puja is not only for households but is equally done by Companies. Business-Laxmi-Puja is done exactly the same way as is done in home. Usually company’s cashier performs the puja during which time the entire office including office compounds are lit with various lights including electrical, candle lights, and oil lamps and usually staffs are invited t useful in Nepal, as in the olden days it was used for everything from light at night (Methane) to polish for the mud floors of traditional houses.

Day 4: Gobardhan Puja and Mha Puja
On the fourth day of Tihar, there are three different known pujas, depending on the people’s specific cultural background. Most perform Goru Tihar or Goru Puja (worship of the oxen).

Day 5: Bhai Tika

Tihar Festival - Vai Tihar

The fifth day of the Tihar is called Bhai Tika. In this day sister put Tika on foreheads of brothers, to ensure long life and thank them for the protection hey give. Sister put Tika and brother give gift or money to the sister. A special garland is made for the brothers out of a flower that wilts only after a couple of months, symbolizing the sister’s prayer for her brother’s long life. Brother sit on the floor while sisters perform their Puja. Puja is made according to traditional ritual where sister circle brother three time and they dripping oil on the floor. After they put oil in brother’s ears and hairs then given Tika. In Tika they mix seven colors and and sister put the brothers forehesd by hey fingers. After tika, flower garland is put around brother’s neck. Then brothers give tika to sisters in the same fashion. Sisters also receive flower garland around their neck and brothers place their head over sisters feet and receive their blessings. This is practiced regardless of whether brother is younger or elder to the sister. Also, brothers give gifts such as clothes or money to sisters while sisters give a special gift known as Sagun (which is made of dried fruits, nuts, candies etc.), and a fantastic Tihar feast takes place. Those without a sister or brother, join relatives or friends for Tika.