Tihar, also known as Deepawali and Yama Panchak or Swanti, is a five-day-long Hindu festival celebrated in late autumn. It is also considered as ‘festival of lights and color and consider as a second biggest Nepalese festival after Dashain. The street and the houses are decorated with beautiful lights. Along with electric lights, traditional Nepali lamp made locally of clay called diyas is filled with oil and twisted cotton called bati dipped into the bowl to lit inside and outside the houses at night. Along with decorating homes and street with lights, people also do singing, dancing, gambling.
How is Tihar celebrated?
Tihar is the five-day-long celebration; it has its unique ways of celebration. The festivities begin with the devotion of crows and dogs. Leaf dishes of rice, incense, and light are set out for the dark messenger, while dogs are worshipped and offered goodies.
The Five days of Tihar
First day-Kaag Tihar – Crow Pooja
Second day-Kukur Tihar – Dog Pooja
Third day-Gai Tihar or Laxmi Pooja – Cow or Goddess of Wealth Pooja
fourth day-Goru Tihar, Govardhan Pooja, Maha Puja, (Aatma pooja) – Ox Pooja
Fifth day-Bhai Tika, Bhai Dooj – Bother and Sister Pooja
First Day: Kag Tihar, The Day of Crows
Tihar celebration starts with the adoring of a crow, which is considered as the envoy of death in Hindu custom. Crows are viewed as the detachments of death, and the conviction is that by satisfying them, they would not carry any updates on distress to the family.
On the day, Nepali Hindus offer distinctive sustenance things to crows promptly toward the beginning of the day and appeal to God for karma, as they accept crows get messages to houses toward the beginning of the first light.
Second Day: Kukur Tihar (Dog Puja)
The second day of the celebration is committed to hounds/dogs and is commended as Kukur (hound) Tihar.
On the Kukur Tihar day, the whole Nepali Hindu people group adores pooches inferable from their religious importance as the watchman of Lord Yama, the divine force of death. It is additionally accepted that canines can lead the spirits of the dead to paradise.
Mutts are offered exceptional supplications with tika, wreath, and flavorful sustenances.
Third-Day: Gai Tihar (Cow puja)
Third day is called Gai Tihar and imprints the revering of sacred dairy animals, which hold incredible essentialness in the Hindu convention. On this day, cows and goddess Lakshmi are revered with incredible enthusiasm as dairy animals are viewed as a type of goddess Lakshmi.
Individuals enlighten their homes with brilliant lights, candles, and oil lights and keep their entryways and windows open to invite success. Furthermore, individuals play a game of cards and light firecrackers.
Fourth Day: Goru Puja (Oxen puja)
The fourth day of Tihar witnesses the adoring of bulls and is commended as Goru Puja. Aside from Goru Puja, this auspicious day likewise stamps three various pujas including Govardhan Puja and Mha Puja.
On this promising day, Vaishnavism supporters play out the Govardhan Puja, where devotees worship a Govardhan Parvat made of cow excrement.
In the wake of revering creatures for three days, the fourth day legitimizes the idea of worshiping the spirit, which is typical in all beings. The Newari people group plays out the Mha Puja and love their souls.
Fifth Day: Bhai Tika or Bhai Duj (Brother/Sister puja)
It is the fifth and the closing day of the 5-day long Tihar celebration.
On this day, sisters decorate the brows of their siblings with Paanch Rangi Tika, a blend of five distinct hues including yellow, green, red, blue and white, wishing them a long life and flourishing.
While sisters offer Shaguns (wishing good karma) of dry organic products, for example, hazelnut (Katus), pecans, desserts, and natural products, siblings consequently give them endowments and cash alongside gifts of insurance affirmation for an incredible remainder.
Guests to Nepal during this time can appreciate the wonderful Tihar celebration in Kathmandu with bright night lighting and numerous social and religious festivals. Rani Pokhari sanctuary, which is available to the open just on the fifth day of Tihar every year, is another fascination. The five days of the Tihar celebration give a great chance to appreciate the Nepalese cordiality and leave with recollections that endure forever.