the Nepalese festival, is compared by many with the Deepawali festival of
India. The purpose of celebration is to worship Goddess Laxmi. According to
Hindu scriptures, Laxmi is the Goddess of Wealth. The devotees lit oil lamps
and candles to illuminate their homes. Kathmandu dons the look of a
sparkling diamond on Tihar. The festival is celebrated for five days
beginning from the thirteenth day of the waning moon in the month of
|Also Known as
||Bhai Tika, Dipawali, Laxmi Puja
|Period of Celebration
||Animals are worshipped
||People lit oil lamps in their houses
Tihar, the festival of lights, is one of the most important festivals in
Nepal. It is celebrated for five days. Happenings of all these days have
been given below :
Crows, called Kaga in Nepal, are worshipped on the first day.
Delicious meal is cooked early morning in every household and each member of
the family takes some food outside. The crows descend in large numbers to
partake the offerings. People consider the crows to be the messenger of
Yama, the Lord of Death. People worship crows to keep sadness at bay. They
consider the voice of crows as symbol of sorrow.
Second day is dedicated to worshipping of dogs. Kukur (Dogs) are decorated
with flower garland around their necks. Red tika is applied on their
forehead. They also get to savour delicous meals. People request the dogs to
guard their homes.
Cows are worshipped on the third day of the Tihar. Cow is considered the
mother of the universe according to Hindu traditions, and therefore a sacred
animal. Tika is applied on her forehead, she is garlanded and offered nice
things to eat. People place her manure in different parts of their houses.
They drink a drop or two of the cow's urine, for they think that the action
would purify them.
Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth, is worshipped with great zeal and faith.
Whole country is illuminated with lights. Candle lights and oil lamps are
traditionally used for the purpose. The 'puja' is usually performed at dusk,
preferably by female. She makes a symbolic footprint outside the home with
red mud and then walks to the room where the goddess is worshipped.
Bhalini songs are played only on this day in the entire year. These are
special songs which groups of girls sing together. They sing Bhailo door and
door, and get money or homemade treats in return.
Men sing Deusi or Deusuray songs. They are given money or refreshments.
Arrival of the new year is also celebrated in Tihar. Ritual of Govardhan
puja or Goru Tihar (Oxen Worshipping) is also observed. The religious
proceedings of the fourth day are also known as mahapuja.
Fifth day, also known as Bhai Tika, is the day of brothers and sisters.
Sister applies red tika on the forehead of brother. An intriguing ritual is
also followed. Sisters walk around the brothers three times dropping oil on
the floor from a pitcher. Sisters pray for brothers' long life and
prosperity while brothers offer gifts. Then delicious Tihar feast takes
place in the households.