TIHAR Festival of Nepal
TIHAR is a five day festival of Hindus in Nepal. Though festival celebration dates for the Tihar festival varies every year, but usually it’s happening every year, in between 15th October to 15th November, celebrated by worshiping Hindu Goddess LAXMI and Lord GANESHA. Tihar festival is also known as Yampanchak, Diwali, Deepawali and the festival of lights.
DIWALI Festival of India
Diwali is a Hindu festival of India that is a variation of Tihar Festival that is celebrated in India, Sri Lanka and Bangla Desh. Hindus lit their house with lights and Diyas, do the fireworks, make a beautiful Rangoli at entrance of house and distribute sweets among family, friends and relatives to celebrate this festival. According to Hindu’s believe Diiwali festival was started from an occasion of, fanfare over the return of Hindu God Rama, who returned back to home after 14 years.
Five Days Rituals of Tihar Festival
Hindus of Nepal, celebrate the Tihar festival by worshiping the Hindu goddess Laxmi for all five days. Idyllically Tihar is another form of Diwali to welcome Lakshmi (The goddess of light and wealth). But the greatest significance of Tihar festival is, Nepali Hindus show reverence for the animals like crows, cows and dogs to celebrate this festival. Hindu in Nepal believes these animals have an important role in society and have an ancient relationship with humans that must be praised and honored. The five day rituals of the festival are,
5 day’s Rituals of Tihar Festival and the celebration dates (For, year 2016) are,
- 1. Kaag Tihar (Kaag Puja) – Worshiping Crows, On October 28, 2016
- 2. Kukur Tihar (Kukur Puja) – Worshiping Dogs, On October 29, 2016
- 3. Laxmi Puja – Worshiping Cows / Goddess Laxmi, On October 30, 2016
- 4. Govardhan Puja – Worshiping Oxen, October 31, 2016
- 5. Bhai Tika – Worshiping Brothers & Sisters, On Date November 1, 2016
Day 1. Kaag Tihar (Kaag Puja)
The first day of Tihar Festival is dedicated for crows and celebrated as Kaag Tihar. Kaag Tihar is the Nepali Word that Mean “The festival of crow”, it’s taken from the words “Kaag” Means, Crow and “Tihar” means, Festival. On this day the crows are worshiped by offering dishes when people place eatables, outside of the house, especially on the roof of the houses.
Hindus in Nepal believe that crows are the messengers of death, who can avert death and grief out of the house. And they are worshiped as a savior from sudden death.
Day 2. Kukur Tihar (Kukur Puja)
The second day of Tihar festival is dedicated to the most loyal companion of human. Dogs are worshiped on this day of festival. The dog worship in Nepal is a unique and exceptional festival, when dogs are worshiped. They are offered the Tika of garland or red-yellow powder and eatables.
Day 3. Gai Tihar and Laxmi Pooja
The third day of Tihar festival is Gai Tihar and Laxmi Pooja. The festivl name is taken from Nepali words "Gai" means, Cow and "Tihar" means, festival. This has two phases, in the morning people do worship the Cow (The symbol of Wealth and mother) and Laxmi (The goddess of wealth) is worshiped in the evening.
Hindus believe, Cows are the vehicle of goddess Laxmi and their worship invites the Goddess Laxmi to the house and that will bring wealth and happiness. So people worship them, put Tikas and offer dishes on third day of the festival.
According to Hindus trust, the goddess Laxmi stays away from dirty and dark houses and that brings poverty to the house members. So, people clean their house on this day and decorate with flower and lights. And enlighten the house by lighting candles and Diyas (lighting oil lamps), at the house entrance gate, entrance door and at all the windows. To, Invite, honor and welcome the goddess, in their house. The whole city gets a glimpse like floating diamonds on earth.
And the last event of the third day festival is to bless the daughters with Tika and Prasad. Daughters are considered as Laxmi, In Hindu religion and being honored and blessed by Tika and gifts on this day of the festival.
And at the evening of the day, girls play Bhailo that continues all night long. Celebrated by dancing and singing and visiting to the nearby houses and girls get some amount of money or fruits or sweats as a gift that, which they distributed among themselves.
Day 4. Govardhan Puja
The fourth day of Tihar festival signifies the beginning of a New Year in Nepal and a Govardhan Puja is being held on this day of the festival that also known as Maha Puja and Goru Puja (Means: Worship of Oxen). The Cow dung has much religious importance in the Hindu religion and Govardhan Puja is conducted by the Cowdung, they make mountain constructed by Cow dung do the worship.
Also the People decorate their cattle (Cows and bulls) on this occasion by yellow turmeric powder and garland.
And at the evening boys will start playing Deusi, while girls Play Bhailo and that continues all night.
Neplai Guys and Girls playing, Deusi and Bhalo
5. Bhai Tika
The last day of Tihar Festival represents the respect, bonding in relation. And Bhai Tika festival of day represents the bonding between brother and sisters. Sisters wish the longevity and prosperity to brothers by putting Tika and garlands. And in reverse brothers gives gifts and a promise to care of their sisters.
© 2016 Arai