Tihar Festival Unfolds with Varied Celebrations in Nepal
In Nepal, the vibrant festival of Tihar has commenced with diverse celebrations marking each day. The first day, known as Kaag Tihar or Crow Festival, saw the worship of crows as messengers of Yama Raj, the god of Death, on November 11.
Following this, Kukur Tihar, dedicated to honoring dogs, is being celebrated on November 12. Dogs, revered as symbols of loyalty and messengers of Yama Raj, are worshipped with food, red vermillion powder, and garlands.
This year, a unique convergence occurs as Laxmi Puja coincides with Kukur Tihar on November 13. Laxmi Puja holds special significance as homes are adorned with flowers, lights, and oil lamps, symbolizing prosperity sought from the goddess Laxmi.
During Laxmi Puja, the traditional practices of Deusi and Bhailo are observed, with participants receiving money and selroti in return. Additionally, the Newar community engages in Mha puja, a ritual focused on self-worship, acknowledging the spirit within oneself.
The festival culminates on Bhai Tika, the final day of Yamapanchak, bringing brothers and sisters together. Sisters put Sapatriangi Tika on their brothers’ foreheads, expressing wishes for progress, prosperity, and longevity.
Tihar, with its rich tapestry of rituals, not only honors deities but also strengthens the familial bonds between brothers and sisters, underscoring its special significance in the lives of Hindus in Nepal.