Tihar-The festival of light

Sita Dahal

Tihar, also known as Diwali or Deepavali or the Festival of Lights, is a festival celebrated in Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism to drive out darkness with light and conquer evil with good. Tihar is an important Hindu festival celebrated for five days each year in October or early November. Tihar, which means Festival of Lights, is a religious festival celebrated for five days and held immediately after Dashain.

Therefore, between the five days of the festival, the first day is celebrated with the worship of ravens. Tihar, also known as Deepavali, is a five-day festival celebrated every year after the Dashain festival, during the month of Kartik (usually October to November). The Tihar festival is considered one of the major holidays because it shows deep reverence not only for humans but also for birds and animals, which are believed to have a divine connection with humans.

The largest festival of lights is also known as the Festival of Flowers, Sisters, or Brothers. Tihar/Diwali is the second largest festival in Nepal after Vijaya Dashami and is considered the "Festival of Colors". Tihar (also known as Deepavali in Terai) is the second largest festival after Dashain.

Tihar festival is Nepal's second-largest festival after Dashain and is celebrated for five days with flowers, lights, candles, various activities, and worship. It is a five-day festival celebrated mainly by Hindus from all over the world. Tihar is a five-day festival that starts with Kaag Tihar (worship of the raven) at Trayodashi Kartika Krishna Pakshi and ends with Bhai Tika Kartika Shukla Pakshi at Dwitiya.

The last day of the Tihar festival is called Bhai Thika (Bhai means little brother in Nepali) and is dedicated to the special bond between siblings. The last day of Tihar is called Bhai Tika or Tihar tikka, and it is the day when brothers and sisters exchange happiness and gifts.

Like Diwali, Tihar is celebrated by lighting inside and outside the house, but unlike the Indian holiday, the five days of Tihar include the celebration and worship of four beings associated with the Hindu god of death. the last day is reserved for the people themselves. There are some things that people usually do as a celebration during Tihar. The second of the Tihars is celebrated by offering garlands, tiki, various sweets, and food to the dogs. During this festival, people will honor crows, dogs, cows, and Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and fortune.

At the height of this festival, people revere and worship ravens, dogs, cows, Lakshmi; Goddess of Wealth and Wealth, Brotherhood, Gopadan, and Reverence for the Body or Self (also known as Mah Puja). On the third day of Tihar, Nepalese people often offer sacrifices to Lakshmi, the goddess of cow and wealth. So, on the third day of Tihar, Nepalese Hindus express their gratitude to the cows by feeding them sweets and worshipping teak and garlands. On this day, Nepalese people worship dogs because of their loyalty to people.

Tihar is not only a folk festival but also people's homage to certain animals, including crows, dogs, cows, bulls, etc. On the third day of Tiha, people worship the mother of the universe, the cow. There are three different worship traditions on the fourth day of Tihar, and which one to choose depends on the individual's cultural background.

Also, the fourth day of Tihar usually coincides with the first day of the Nepalese Sambat calendar, hence the Newar community festival Mha Puja. Mha Puja is a unique tradition in which people worship themselves and their inner souls. Tihar is celebrated annually for five days starting on August 15 of the Nepalese calendar (late October or early November in the Gregorian calendar), which is the 15th full moon day of the eighth month of the Hindu calendar. Tihar is the second largest Nepalese festival after Dashain and is usually a three-day national holiday.

Among them, Dashain and Tihar are the biggest festivals celebrated by Nepalese Hindus around the world. Many Nepalese festivals take place in late autumn and early winter as well as spring which is a good time to visit Nepal. Because one of the most famous festivals in Nepal, Tihar, also called Diwali or Deepavali, also popularly called the festival of lights, begins to take place. The two great Hindu festivals of Nepal, Dashain, and Tihar (Deepavali) occur in October and November.

But there are plenty of ways to enjoy Tihar in Nepal other than joining Nepali family celebrations. Tihar is a major entertainment event for Nepalese. The meaning of Tihara/Diwali, its symbols and rituals, and the reasons for the celebration are countless. Diwali and Tihar celebrate the victory of good and evil with clay lamps, fire, and sweets and share similar cultural roots.

Tihar begins with the worship of various animals (such as crows, dogs, and cows), then worships the Hindu goddess of fortune, wealth, and prosperity (goddess Lakshmi), and finally ends with the exchange of a special timestamp on the forehead. (teak of seven colors). Tihar; also known as Deepavali or Yama Panchak, is a major part of Nepalese culture which means happiness, luck, harmony between all people and is considered the second biggest festival in Nepal after Dashain. Tihar is undoubtedly one of the amazing and colorful festivals as you can experience many smiles on every face and eat delicious and sweet food in a colorful environment. Tihar is one of the most fun festivals because you can see many smiles on every face with sweets and delicious food with colorful lights.

People celebrate the last day in the local community, singing, playing cards, playing local musical games(a cultural show from the Tihar period), and even lighting up the sky with firecrackers. On the fourth day of the festival, people thank the cow, the fifth day is the last day of the festival, it is called Bhai Tika Dai, the sisters put 7 colored ticks on the brothers' foreheads, brothers give gifts to the sisters and money.

Each Tihar party has its speech representing a special function and importance. Tihar is also known as the Festival of Lights due to the many festive candles and lanterns that will be lit in honor of Goddess Lakshmi. If you are one of those who crave an authentic Nepalese travel experience, I recommend that you plan your itinerary around October to November so you can celebrate the wonderful Festival of Lights, one of the most important Hindu festivals in the country.

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