Tihar in Nepal is the biggest festival of lights, celebrated by the Hindu community all over the world during the month of October/November. It is a 4 days long national holiday festival where every household lit up vibrant lights and candle lamps during the nighttime. It is called with various names, like; Tihar, Diwali, Dipawali, and many more. This year we celebrate Tihar from 4th November-7th November.
What is the essence of Tihar in Nepal?
Tihar in Nepal is the biggest festival. It is five days long festival day where people worship various forms of life which hold certain meanings in Hindu Mythology.
Kaag Tihar (Day-1)
The first day of Tihar is widely known for worshiping the crows. Crows are considered to be the transporters of the King of death, Yama. It’s believed that the crowing of crows is related to sadness and carries the message directly from Yama. Feeding crows, Hindus hope to keep off death and grief for the upcoming year. This day is additionally referred to as “Dhanteras”, a most pious day for getting new jewelry of adding items at homes, or making investments.
Kukur Tihar (Day-2)
On the second day of Tihar, People worship and feed dogs. Dogs are considered to be the “Gatekeeper of Death”, who leads the dead soul across the river of death within the immortal realm. They are also considered the transporter of “Kal Bhairav” and loved for their loyalties for Humans.
Laxmi Puja (Day-3)
On the third day of Tihar, People worship goddess Laxmi and Cow, who represents wealth and good luck in Hindu Community. It is the foremost important day of Tihar where people lit up Diya’s and Candles alongside sparking led lights all over the house, organize lavish veg food, and prepare dry fruit pudding. All these efforts are made to attract the Goddess of wealth, Laxmi. Huge puja is done during the evening time, various young people and ethnic group people organize “Bhailo” program on this day. It’s the foremost joyous festival that brings positivity and luck to the households.
Govardhan Puja (Day-4)
On the fourth day of Tihar, People, especially the farmers, offer their thanks and worship the Ox for their hard work over the year. They offer them good meals and worship them as per their community rituals. The Newar community celebrates this day as “Mha Puja”, which means worshiping oneself. This day is also celebrated to mark one of the greatest and strongest lords of Hindu culture, Hanuman. The main motto of this day is to pray for good health and a prosperous year ahead. A group of young boys plays “Deusi” on this day.
Bhai Tika (Day-5)
On the final day of Tihar, we celebrate Bhai Tika. Sisters apply seven different colors on the forehead of their brother and perform a circle ritual, worshiping for their better and longer life. The siblings, cousins put garlands to each other and exchange gifts, brothers tend to give sisters money and sisters arrange a vibrant gift plate crammed with dry fruits, sweets, chocolates, fruits, and a gift.
How did Tihar come into existence?
Lord Ram was in exile for 14 years, far away from Ayayodha, he was fighting against Rawan for the safety and release of Sita. The battle between Rama and Rawan is one of the historical battles in Hindu books. It is a representation of victory of righteousness over the illness. After the battle, Lord Ram successfully released Sita from the imprisonment of Rawan and the pair along with Laxman returned back to Ayodhya.
Coincidentally, by the end of the battle, the exile period of Rama also has come to an end and on his return to Ayodhya, people lit up the place, the palace was decorated like never before, people offered food to the animals and expressed that, that day was the most pious day that brought the light of Aayodha back to them. That was the start of Dipawali/ Tihar and gradually people started celebrating this day every year by expressing gratitude for the living being for bringing prosperity in their lives and the concept of Tihar became a festival in Hindu households.
Tihar in Nepal is the occasion that brings families together. People dine along with their relatives, exchange pleasantries and gifts, elders offer blessings to the younger ones. Many households enjoy their family time by playing cards, making varieties of sweets and food items. Tihar without any doubt is the most loved and vibrant festival which one adores.
Tihar in Nepal Date
Tihar in Nepal or Deepawali is on Thursday 4th of November 2021. Thursday is the day of Narayan according to the Hindu religion. God Vishnu is the husband of Goddess Laxmi Ji. This year we celebrate Tihar in Nepal from 4th November-7th November.
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