Tihar Festival of Lights
16 Jan 2020 Magic Himalaya Treks
Tihar is the second biggest Nepali festival after Dashain. It is usually celebrated for five days. Tihar is the festival of lights and colors. This festival falls in the month of October. During these festivals, people will honor crows, dogs, cows, ox, brothers as well as Laxmi, goddess of wealth and luck. Several candles will be lit up for the goddess of Laxmi.
Day First – Kaag Tihar / Crow day during Tihar Festival of Lights
Kaag Tihar is the day to worship crows. It is also a day for crow and people recognize as crow day. On this day people will offer rice and sweets to the crow. Crow is the messenger of death according to Hinduism. Hindu believe that crow brings the bad news of deaths so people worship them to ensure that they will not bring such bad news in their house in present as well as the future.
Day Second- Kukur Tihar / Dog Day
Today is the day to worship dogs. On this second day, people offer garland, Tika and delicious food to dogs. This day of the festival also shows a wonderful relationship between dogs and human beings. In every home and street dogs get special treatments and foods on this day. It is also believed that Lord Shiva had a dog as a Vahana (vehicle). The god of deaths also believes to own two guards dog with four eyes. These dogs are said to watch over the gate of Narka (hell).
Day Third- Gai Tihar / Laxmi Puja (Cow day)
The morning of the third day is Gai Tihar. In Hinduism, cows signify prosperity and wealth. In ancient times, people used to take lots of benefits from a cow. People use milk, cow dung, and urine for various purposes like food and purification. On this day, people show their great fullness to cow by garland. They also feed them the best grass and food. On the same day, houses are clean and the doorways and windows are decorated with garlands made of marigold (Sayapatri) and Makhamali (Gomphrena globosa) flowers.
In the evening we will worship Laxmi. She is the goodness of wealth and we thanked all the benefits that were given to the families. They also lit up well lamps (Diyo) on the doorways and windows to welcome the Goddess Laxmi. From the third day onward people started celebrating Tihar with Bhailo and Deusi as well as lights and fireworks. Many people play Deusi and Bhailo for collecting funds for welfare and social activities.
Day Fourth- Gobardhan puja (ox day)
On the four days of Tihar, there are three different kinds of Pujas depending on the people’s cultural backgrounds. Mainly ox is worship by giving food and it is also called Guru Puja. Some people worship Gobardhan puja by making Gobardhan Mountain from cow dung. Newari people of Kathmandu celebrated as Maha Puja (worshipping own self). This day is the beginning of New Nepali Sambat Calendar here. Boys perform Deusi visiting different houses.
Day Fifth- Bhai Tika (brothers day) during Tihar Festival of Lights
The fifth and last day of Tihar is Bhai Tika. It is observed the sister applying Tika to the forehead of their brother to ensure their long life. It is believed that the Yamaraj (god of death) announces anyone who receives Tika from his sister will never die on this day. During this day sister offers sweet, verities of fruits, food, clothes to their brothers. In return, brothers give money, clothes to their sister and promised to save her throughout life. Similarly, people celebrate this day eating delicious foods, playing cards, swings, Deusi Bhailo and so on. People gather in the same place to exchange their happiness with each other. In this way, the Tihar festival ends full of joy and people get back to their homes and take rest as well as enjoy their normal life.
Tihar Festival of Lights also falls on the best season time for trekking. This is also the best time for doing Annapurna circuit trek, Upper Mustang Trek, Everest base camp luxury trek as well as Everest base camp trek. People also do Annapurna base camp trek, Mardi Himal trek, Manaslu trekking as well as Everest base camp helicopter tour.