Tihar festival, one of the most auspicious festivals of Nepal, falls on the month of Karthik. It is observed after fifteen days of Dashain festival, another important Hindu festivals, on the solar eclipse. This festival is celebrated to honor the God of Death ‘Yama’ and also to worship the Wealth. Also known as Dewali or Deepawali, this festival is the ‘Festival of Lights’. People decorate their homes with colorful lights and Diyos. Tihar festival is generally celebrated for five days.
Tihar festival brings the harmony and togetherness between humans and animals.
The first day is called Kaag Tihar. ‘Kaag’, also known as crow, is the messenger of Death. The crow is worshipped by placing his favorite delicacies in-front of him. People pray this bird in order to receive good news all over the year.
The second day of Tihar festival is knows as Kukur Tihar also know as Dog festival of Nepal. Dog is considered to be the agent of Lord of Death ‘Yama’. In other way, dog is most faithful animals of all. He is the savior and best friend of human. People show respect to dogs and consider him holy. They treat him with foods and thank him for his amazing service towards the welfare of human beings.
The third day of Tihar festival is known as Laxmi Puja. Laxmi, known as the divine Goddess of Wealth, is worshipped. Cow, considering to be the replica of the Goddess Laxmi, people consider her sacred and worship her. People worship their wealth related stuffs. They lit their homes with candles. On this very day of Tihar festival, people gather around and play Deusi Bhailo. Deusi Bhailo is a traditional carol alike ceremony. Youngsters gather in a group and visit different houses.
Deusi Bhailo is the one of the major attraction of this festival.
They sing and dance and make the environment merry. People give them money and other stuffs. It is said that the more you give or donate to them, the more your wealth will be increased. People make Rangoli on their homes. Rangoli is a picture made on the flower by using different colors. It represents happiness and shows that Tihar festival has started. People also play with fire crackers on Tihar.
On the fourth day of Tihar festival, people worship Ox. This day is known as Govardan Puja. The myth is related to when Lord Krishna simply placed the Govardan Parwat in his small finger to protect the people from flood. Deusi Bhailo is continued and people spend this day happily. This day is also celebrated as ‘Mha Puja’ among the Newar communities. They worship the god for the wellness of themselves and people around.
The fifth day is the last day of Tihar festival. This day is called Bhaitika. This day is celebrated to thank one’s brother for always protecting them. Sisters put seven colored Tika on their foreheads and garland made up of marigold flowers on their neck. Boys bless their sisters with gifts and money. This day is celebrated happily. People play Deusi, eat awesome delicacies and visit different places. Tihar festival is a merry making festival and is celebrated with joy and prosperity. People exchange gifts and foods with each other. Tihar festival has connected people through customs and traditions.