Tihar Festival of Lights: Best time for Festival Tour in Nepal
Tihar is a second great festival of Hindu people. It is also known as Dipawali, Yamapanchak and celebrated in October or early November for five days. Tihar, in general, signifies the festival of lights, where diyas are lit both inside and outside the houses to make it illuminate at night.
Tihar brings the worship of Laxmi, Goddess of wealth and a day to worship one’s body or self, and Tihar also was known as worshiping animals such like as crow, dog, cow, and oxen.
These days, People make patterns on the floor of living rooms or courtyards using materials such as colored rice, dry flour, colored sand or flower petals outside of their house, called Rangoli, which is meant to be a sacred welcoming area for the Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism mainly Goddess Laxmi.
First Day: Kaag (Crow) Tihar
The first day is known as worshiping of crow, this messenger of Yama. People put a dishes food and sweet on the roofs of houses for crow. The sound of crow symbolizes sadness and grief in Hinduism, so devotees offer crows food to avert grief and death in their homes.
Second Day Kukur (Dog) Tihar
Kukur Tihar celebrates on second of Yampanchak for the worship of dogs. Dogs, which are believed to be messengers of Lord Yamaraj, the God of Death, are worshiped each year on this day. During Kukur Tihar, people were garland of flowers is draped around the neck of every dog and give sweet food. This festival shows a relationship between humans and animals.
Third Day: Laxmi Pooja
The third day of Yamapanchak, Laxmi Pooja is s vital day for worship cow, goddess of wealth together with family treasures at night. In the evening people lightening on their doorway, window, and inside-outside the f house to welcome Laxmi means a wealth. By this night people play a Deusi Bhailo means enjoy dancing and visiting all the houses of the neighborhood with musical instruments singing and dancing. Deusi Bhailo is a much interesting part off Hindu culture.
Fourth Day: Govardhan Puja (Goru Tihar)
Fourth day of Yamapanchak (Tihar) is known as various Poojas depending on people’s cultural. One is Goru Puja, Goru Tihar, worship of oxen. People belong to Vaishnabism, who called Goverdhan Pooja worship towards Govardhan mountain. And the Newar community performs Mha Puja (worship of self) on the night. From this day, Nepal Sambat begins as a news year.
Fifth Day: Bhai Tika
Bhai Tika is the last day and most important of tihar. The sister put multi-colored tika and flower’s garland to their brothers with pray too long life. Multi-colored tika which consists of seven colors and called ‘Saptarangi Tika’ in Nepali. Along with the Tika, the sisters offer garlands of Marigold and Chrysanthemum (nowadays the plastic readymade garlands are also used to some extent, in the case of scarcity of the flowers), sweets, and special dishes for them. Then Brothers also give some gifts to sisters.
Story Behind Tihar Celebrating
Behind the celebration of tihar have a various story. All of them, the famous stories is related to Yama the god of death and his sister the Yamuna. Yamuna eager to meet her brother and send many sources to know about her brothers Yama like Crow, Dog, cow and last day she went herself to meet him. The Yamuna worshiped him with a multi-colored tika, put Makhmali Mala (Globe Amaranth) with making a circle of mustard oil, Dubo Grass (Cynodon Dactylon) and asked Yamaraj not to go till the oil, Dubo Grass and the flower gets dry. Then Yamaraj didn’t go till oil, Dubo Grass and the flower gets dry. It means that every sister wants to live around their brother, therefore, every sister worships her brother keeping him in the circle of mustard oil, putting mala (garland) of Makhmali flower and Dubo grass.