Tihar is the largest national festival after Dashain in Nepal. It is the festival of flowers and light and celebrated for 5 days. It is celebrated in Kartik Month from Trayodashi of Krishna Paksha to Dwitiya of Shukla Paksha. Along with Nepal, Tihar is also celebrated in the various province of India and by the people worldwide following Hinduism.
- Another Legends behind Tihar
- 2020 Tihar Festival Date and Time in Nepal
- Rituals performed:
On Tihar, we worship animals like crow, dog, cow and ox. It teaches us a lesson to maintain harmony between human beings and other living beings in nature. It teaches us to respect the law of nature. Also, on Bhai-Tika of Tihar, the brother receiving’s belief is that’s Tika from sister and sister pray for the long and healthy life of her brother. It creates the relationship between brother and sister warm and stronger. It also teaches us the lesson that the whole world exists only in love.
There are different beliefs about the origin of Tihar. The most famous beliefs are “the story of Yamaraj and Yamuna” and “story of the king and the serpent”. In the story of Yamaraj and Yamuna, Lord Vishnu being satisfied by the good deeds of King Bali; gave permission to rule the three Lok (universe) for five days. Due to this, Yamaraj remains free for five days. During that time, he decided to visit his sister the Yamuna. After seeing his brother, she became so glad and did her best to make her brother pleased for 5 days. So, Tihar is also known as “Yamapanchak,” i.e. the five days of Yamaraj.
Another Legends behind Tihar
Another Hindu belief is that one day the King was told that the bite of the serpent would die him. Due to fear, the King command to lit light all over his Kingdom. This incident happens on the day of Lakshmi Puja. Being so pleased Goddess Laxmi (Goddess of wealth) saves King life by preventing him from the snake. Knowing this, the King set tradition to lit lights on the Lakshmi Puja day and tradition is followed still at present.
2020 Tihar Festival Date and Time in Nepal
Tihar festival is in Kartik 28, 2077 whereas it is on November 13, 2020.
|Kartik 28, 2077||Kag Tihar|
|Kartik 29, 2077||Laxmi Puja and Kukur Tihar|
|Kartik 30, 2077||Gai Puja, Mha Puja / Goru puja|
|Mangshir 1, 2077||Bhai Tika and Gobardhan Puja|
Celebrated by: Hindu people
Celebrated at: All over Nepal on the month of Kartik according to Nepali Calendar
Also Read: Chhat Puja, Nepal Big Festival after Tihar
On this day each and every house are lightened up with lights and flowers. People play deusi-bhailo and perform fireworks. Also, people visit different temples and worship different God and goddess during this occasion. This all makes Tihar festival full of rejoicement.
Day 1 Kaag Tihar (Trayodashi of Krishna Paksha)
Trayodashi of Krishna Paksha: This is the 1st day of Tihar. On this day, the crow is worshipped so this day is known as “Kaag Tihar”. In Hindu mythology, it is believed that Yamaraj assigned crow to send the message of death. So, on this day, crows are feed with delicious food to prevent the family members from bad omen throughout the year.
Day 2 Kukur Tihar (Chaturdashi of Krishna Paksha)
Chaturdashi of Krishna Paksha: This day is also known as “Kukur Tihar” as the dog is worshipped on this day. The dog is treated as the symbol of faithfulness and followers of the path of truth. The dog is treated as an impeccable animal in Hindu religion. On this day, dogs are worshipped by offering Tika, garlands of Sayapatri flowers and delicious food. Among four Vedas of Hindu religion, Rig Veda states that Yamaraj kept a dog to guard the path to his residence. So, the dog is worshipped on this day with the belief to prevent any unexpected death of family members and from bad omen.
Day 3 Gai Tihar and Laxmi Puja (Aunsi)
Aunsi: It is the 3rd day of Tihar. This day is also known as “Gai Tihar” as the cow is worshipped on this day and the day of “Laxmi Puja”. In the very morning, people take a bath and worshipped cows by offering Tika, garlands and sweets and fruits. The cow is treated as another form of Goddess Lakshmi. People also keep the coins at the four feet of a cow with the belief that it attracts wealth in the family and brings prosperity. Also, people enter between the feet of the cow with the belief that it would clear their sins and cleansed their souls. Also, it is believed that worshipping cows on this day pleases the divine Goddess Kamdhenu (the mother of all cows) and fulfil the wish and desires of her devotee. Due to these beliefs slaughtering of a cow in Nepal is strongly prohibited.
In the evening of this day, people worshipped Goddess Lakshmi and welcomed her by decorating their house with lights and flowers. On the front of the house, people make beautiful arts in different colours. The red clay “rato mato” is used to make a path for Goddess Lakshmi to enter the house and prepared a sacred place “puga-than” fothe third day of tiharr her. People worship Goddess Lakshmi on this sacred place offers her sweets, fruits and the most delicious “sel- roti”. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped to bring wealth and prosperity to the family. On this day, different mantras related to Goddess Lakshmi were chanted, and the whole night was spent on her devotion.
On this day, the girls play “Bhailo” by visiting the various houses of the community. They sing various songs and perform a dance. In return, house owner offers Tika and Sayapatri garland to the “Bhailini” group along with money, fruits, rice, sel-roti in the basket. It is believed that King Bali sent the girls to play Bhailo and pleasing these Bhailini groups make King Bali happy and fulfil the wish and desires of his devotees.
Day 4 Gobardhan Puja (Prathama of Shukla Paksha)
Prathama of Shukla Paksha: On this day, the ox is worshipped so-known as “Goru Puja” as it has a close relationship with the human being and helps in ploughing field. According to the Hindu mythology, on this day, Lord Krishna (incarnation of Lord Vishnu) saved the people of Gokul from the catastrophic rainfall held by Lord Indra (King of Heaven) by lifting the Goverdhan Mountain (mountain of cow dung). So, this day is also celebrated as “Goverdhan Puja”. In the village area, people apply the paste of cow dung and mud on the floor of a house on this day.
This day is also very important to the people of Newari community. They perform “Mha Puja” which means self-worship on this day. Also, the new year of Nepal Sambat starts from this day. In local dialect, they called this day as “Nhu Daya Bhintuna” which means happy new year.
Also, in the evening male group plays “Deusi”. The activities performed are similar to “Bhailo”, but the only difference is that a male group plays Deusi and Bhailo is played by the female group.
Day 5 Bhai Tika (Dwitiya of Sukla Paksha)
Dwitiya of Sukla Paksha: This is the most propitious day of the Tihar. This day is known as “Bhai Tika”. The activities performed on this day have their hidden and exciting meaning. The “Nepal Panchanga Nirnayak Samiti sets the favorable time to perform Bhai Tika every year”. This day is celebrated to follow the example set by Yamaraj and Yamuna. On this day sister pray for prosperity and longevity of life brothers.
On Bhai Tika, at first water from Karuwa (Jug) with Dubo (grass) is given to brother and brother drink some portion of this water and somewhere sprinkle on the forehead. This is performed to cleanse the soul of the brother.
Then, she surrounds the brothers place spreading oil with Dubo grass and then with water from the Karuwa with Dubo. This performed with the belief to protect brother from bad omen.
After that, sister worships the sacred place of God in the house. Then, she spread Sayapatri flowers to the brothers. Then she put seven colours Tika known as “Saptarangi Tika” on the brother’s forehead. She then provides Sayapatri garland, Makhamali garland to the brothers. Then, she put oil in the ear of the brothers. Then she put “Dhaka Topi” on the brother’s head. This all is performed with the belief that it brings healthy life and prosperity to brother’s life.
Then, she touches the head, shoulders and the knee of the brothers with walnut, flowers in the Tapari and then she took the walnut with Tapari out of the house and broke that with stone. Brothers should not see this activity. This activity is performed with the belief that it destroys the foes of the brothers and clears hurdles in the life of the brothers and bring success in the brother’s life.
Then, she gives the tray of foods such as Lalmohan, walnut, ladoo, eggs, meat, drinks to the brother. Then brother touches the feet of the sister and receives a blessing from her.
After that, its brothers turn to put Tika on the forehead of a sister. Then, he provides sister money, beautiful gifts such as clothes and precious jewellery. He then again touches the feet of the sister and receives a blessing.
All these activities help to strengthen the relationship between brothers and sisters. Finally, with the ending of Bhai Tika, Tihar ends officially.