Asia Association of Education and Exchange

Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy Tihar!


Tihar in Nepal

Soon after the end of Dashain, the second biggest festival of Hindus and non-Hindus too in Nepal, called tihar is observed. Tihar in general signifies the festival of lights, where diyas are lit both inside and outside the houses to make it illuminate at night.

According to Hindu mythology, when Lord Ram returned to his kingdom Ayodhya after winning over Ravan and completing his 14years of stay in jungle the people all over the nation celebrated the moment by lighting diyas all over. Similarly, according to other belief, When Yamaraj( god of death) was in problem he went to stay with his sister Yamuna for 5days and because of her blessing he was able to overcome the problem and to address that festival is celebrated.

Tihar is celebrated for 5 days. First day of the tihar is known as Kag(crow)-tihar. On this day crows are worshipped by offering them food and dishes at the roof of house. Crows are worshipped as an gratitude for playing important roles as a messengers. The second day is called Kukur( Dog)-tihar. Dogs are considered as most loyal living beings to human being and are worshipped due to this reason. Also, according to mythology, Dog also went to the heaven with Pandav brothers. Third day is called Depawali/Laxmi Puja/Gai(cow)puja. In the morning cows are worshipped as they resemble goddess according to Hindu religion, cow’s urine is also considered important for the process of purification in Hinduism. At the same day in evening goddess laxmi is worshipped. Goddess Laxmi is considered as goddess of prosperity and will only enter house if there are lights so many candles, diyas, electric lights are lightened. Fourth day of Tihar is known as gobardhan puja where oxen are worshipped. People who follow Lord Visnu worship Gobaardhan Mountain. Similarly, people from newar community celebrate Mha-Puja on this day.

Similarly, the final day of the tihar is called bhai-tika. On this day sisters put tika of different colors on the forehead of their brothers and exchange blessings. Sisters pray with god to take away all the huddles that may rise in the life of their brother. And with such delight last day of the tihar is celebrated. “ Deusi” and “ Bhailo” is the important component of Tihar where people make a group and go to the house of people and perform songs and dance and the house-owner give them money, food, and blessings. Tihar is a beautiful festival which on one hand enhances the relationship of brothers and sister and on the other hand shows respect to the animals that are always important in human lives.

Happy Tihar!

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