Tihar (festival) ProfessionalNov 3rd, 2023 at 12:11 Blogs Kathmandu 112 views Reference: 886
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Tihar, also known as "Deepawali" or the "Festival of Lights," is another prominent and widely celebrated festival in Nepal. It usually spans over five days and falls in October or November, shortly after Dashain. Tihar holds cultural, religious, and social significance, and it is marked by various rituals, ceremonies, and colorful displays. Let's explore the key aspects of the Tihar festival:
1. Worship of Animals:
One of the unique features of Tihar is the worship of animals. Each day of Tihar is dedicated to honoring a specific animal that holds a special place in Nepali culture and tradition. The sequence includes crows (considered messengers of Yama, the god of death), dogs (known as loyal companions and guardians), cows (revered in Hinduism as a symbol of motherhood and prosperity), and oxen (essential for agricultural work). On these days, these animals are adorned with tika (vermilion), garlands, and offered special treats as a gesture of appreciation.
2. Worship of Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth:
The third day of Tihar is dedicated to the worship of Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Homes are illuminated with oil lamps, candles, and colorful lights to welcome Laxmi and invite her blessings. People also draw intricate rangoli (decorative patterns) in front of their homes to create a welcoming atmosphere for the goddess.
3. Celebration of Brothers and Sisters:
The fifth day of Tihar, known as "Bhai Tika," is a day to celebrate the special bond between brothers and sisters. Sisters put tika and garlands on their brothers' foreheads, offer them sweets, and perform ceremonial rituals to wish them long life and prosperity. It's a heartwarming tradition that strengthens family ties.
4. Deusi and Bhailo:
During Tihar, groups of young people, often children and teenagers, visit homes in the evenings singing traditional songs, dancing, and playing musical instruments. They collect money and sweets from the households, and this practice, known as "Deusi" for boys and "Bhailo" for girls, is a way to celebrate the festive spirit and share joy with the community.
5. Decorations and Festive Spirit:
Tihar brings a festive atmosphere to Nepali neighborhoods, with homes decorated with oil lamps, colorful lights, and rangoli designs. People wear new clothes, and the entire community is filled with vibrant energy, laughter, and joy.
Tihar, with its unique blend of rituals, celebration of animals, worship of deities, and emphasis on family and community bonds, is an integral part of Nepal's cultural heritage. It reflects the deep-rooted values, spirituality, and unity of the Nepali people, making it a cherished festival that brings happiness and togetherness.