Tihar Festival, The Festival of Lights

Embrace the Biggest festival of lights in Nepal on the occasion of Tihar/Diwali. Tihar/Diwali is the second biggest festival in Nepal after Vijaya Dashami, which is regarded as the “Festival of Colors''. This festival is celebrated under different names such as Bhai Tika, Diwali, Dipawoli, and Laxmi Puja. This festival of lights is also known as the festival of brotherhood and sisterhood. This festival is normally celebrated for five days and during this festival people will honor and pray crows, dogs, cows as goddesses of wealth, and Govardhan/Ox.  

Tihar festival normally falls in the month of Kartik (Oct/Nov) according to the Nepali calendar. This year Nepalese will celebrate this colorful festival from 13th November to 16th November 2020. 

How is the Tihar/Deepawali festival celebrated in Nepal? 

Tihar festival is the second biggest festival in Nepal after Dashain and celebrated for five days with different colors, lights, candles, different activities, and worship. People worship and honor crows on the first day of the festival “ the messenger of death”. The second day is to honor and pray dogs “ the guardian for the god of death”. On the third day, people welcome the goddess of wealth and luck, Laxmi. On the fourth day of the festival, people thank cows and the fifth day is the last day of the festival and it’s called Bhai Tika dai, where sisters put tika made from 7 colors on the forehead of brothers and brothers will give gifts and money to their sisters. Varieties of foods are prepared, houses are decorated with lights, flowers and people gather together to play Deusi Bhailo which is a specially designed program for this festival, where you can experience the dance, songs, musical shows, and giving a blessing as well. 

As we said before, there are five days of celebration of Tihar and all have various myths, legends, and beliefs. 

Day 1: Kagh Tihar 

On the first day of Tihar, people offer rice and some other food to the crows and worship them with Tika and flowers. Crows signify the messenger of bad news and by worshiping and giving food to make them happy. So that in the future, these birds will not bring any bad message.

Day 2: Kukur Tihar 

On the second day of Tihar, people honor and worship dogs. People believe that dogs guide the souls of the dead to get to heaven. People normally feed them a fancy meal, put a tika on their forehead, and put garland on the neck. In Nepal, the dogs play an important role as “ the gatekeeper of death” which is said to lead the decrease across the river of death in the underworld. 

Day 3: Laxmi Puja 

On the third day of Tihar, people often worship cows and Laxmi which we consider as the goddess of wealth and good luck. This is the most highlighted and important day of the Tihar festival. People normally get up early and clean all the homes and gardens and decorate with flowers and lights. They started to thank the cows and took baths. The cows put red tika on the forehead and garland on the neck. When the night falls, people dazzling candles, oil lamps (diyo), bright lights, and flowers are lit up at the doors, steps, floor, and roof. Every house makes thor home as luminous as much as possible to attract the Laxmi ( goddess of wealth). Not only home, but offices, shops, cafes, restaurants are also practicing the traditional ways and keep open so that they can welcome the goddess of wealth. Kids, Young people, and ethnic groups visit the different houses to perform the Bhilo program which is full of dances, songs, entertainment, and blessing. In return, the house owner gives them back some money, food, fruits, and sometimes gifts as well.


Day 4: Govardhan Puja 

On this day of the Yama Panchak on which farmers venerate the oxen. Under diverse culture, people honor different things on the fourth day of Tihar. People pray and thank the ox by giving good meals and worshiping by putting Tika and some rituals. In the Newari community (the oldest inhabitants of Kathmandu), they reunite together in this festival and perform and participate in Mha Puja to worship themselves. This day is also celebrated to mark one of the superheroes of Hindu myth, Hanuman. Goru puja, Gobhardhan puja, Mha puja are done on this day for the healthy and prosperous year ahead. From this day, the boy’s group starts to perform the Deusi program in a different house like a Bhailo program. 

Day 5: Bhai Tika 

The fifth day and final day of the Tihar festival is known as the Bhai Tika. On this auspicious day, sisters put seven different colors of tika on the forehead of their brothers, put garland on the neck, and share the gifts. This day is regarded as one of the important days to strengthen the bond between sisters and brothers. Also, the sisters pray for her brother’s long life, happiness, and prosperity. Same way, brothers also put tika on the forehead of sisters and in return give some money and gifts along with blessings.

In this way, Nepalese celebrate the Tihar festival. Thi festival is a celebration of delight and happiness. From the second day of the festival to the last day festival, normally kids, young people, and ethnic groups play Deusi-Bhailo. The decoration of lights, candles, oil lamps,s and the arrangement of flowers and garland are the best to observe during Tihar. When night falls on the new moon day, the whole Kathmandu valley and surroundings turn to be a sea of colorful lights. Besides this, you can explore gambling, playing cards, and gatherings among friends and relatives. Tihar is undoubtedly one of the amazing and colorful festivals as you can experience a lot of smiles on each face and have delicious and sweetmeal with a colorful environment. 

If you want to witness the celebrating vibes of Nepali culture and people, want to explore the happy faces of Nepali culture and taste the amazingly delicious food with the most exciting and unique Nepali culture. Then, you can join the Luxury Holidays Nepal for an amazing trip to Nepal on this special festival.

To know more about other festivals please click here: Festivals in Nepal or contact us for the amazing travel and trekking packages.

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