Tihar also popular as Deepawali is one of the most important Hindu festivals. It is also considered a “festival of lights” because the city and houses are beautifully decorated with lights. Along with other lights, the traditional Nepalese clay lamp is filled with oil and twisted cotton dipped in the bowl to turn it on.
During this festival, animals and birds are worshiped. People clean their house and decorate it with flowers, lights and much more. In addition, the flowers that bloom in the flower gardens embellish the entire environment during this festival.
Tihar is celebrated for five days and is known as “Yampanchak”. Hindus worship Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, during this festival. Dogs, crows, and cows are also worshiped. The first day of Tihar is considered “Kag Tihar”. On this day, Hindus worship crows and feed them.
“Kukur Tihar” is the second day. On this day dogs are worshiped. Similarly, on the third day the goddess, Laxmi is worshiped and, therefore, the day is called “Laxmi Pooja”. People believe that Goddess Laxmi will welcome the goddess of wealth in her house tonight. Similarly, on the fourth day, the oxen are venerated and the day is known as “Goru Puja”. On this day, the Newar community celebrates “Mha Puja”, which means worshiping oneself.
Tihar’s last day is “Bhaitika.” On this day, the sisters adore their brother for their long life. They celebrate this festival with different colored marks on their brothers’ foreheads and with flower garlands on their brother’s neck. The sisters give sweets, fruits, and other special foods to their brothers. In return, the brothers give gifts and money to their sisters. They eat delicious food and enjoy time together. That day, the sisters also worship Yamraj, Lord of Death, to extend the life of the brothers.
Tihar is also a celebration of joy. People dance, sing, play cards and have fun with different activities. The tradition of playing songs by Deusi and Bhailo is very popular this season. People form a group and visit the house by house and sing. In return, they receive money, traditional meals like Sel Roti and more.
Tihar generally falls at the end of October or when November ends after Dashain. This year, Tihar will begin on October 28 and end on November 1.