Festival of Lights : Tihar

Tihar the festival of lights is also known as Deepawali. It is a five day festival which is mainly celebrated by people of Hindu religion. Among the Hindu people this festival is the second largest festival after Dashain. This festival starts with Kaag (crow) Tihar and ends with Bhai (brother) Tika. The last day is considered as the main day of the festival because it helps to make the relation of every brother and sister strong for their whole life. People light their houses with Diyas and make brightness everywhere . It is considered to be of great importance as it shows a contribution to not just the humans and the gods, but also to the animals like crows, cows, and dogs that maintain an intimate relationship with humans.

The 5 days of Tihar are:

Day 1: Kaag Tihar

On the first day of the festival people worship crows give them food to eat and other religious activities . People believe that crows are the messenger of Yamraj (the god of death). Crows and ravens are worshiped by offerings of sweets and dishes placed on the roofs of houses. The cawing of crows and ravens symbolizes sadness and grief in Hinduism, so devotees offer crows and ravens food to avert grief and death in their homes.

Day 2: Kukur Tihar

The second day is known as Kukur(dog) Tihar. On this day people worship dogs give them food to eat put garland on them.Dogs occupy a special place in hindu mythology.As mentioned in the Mahabharata, Bhairava, a fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva, had a dog as a vahana (vehicle). Yama, the god of death, is believed to own two guard dogs – each with four eyes. The dogs are said to watch over the gates of Naraka, the Hindu concept of Hell. Owing to this belief, this day is also observed as Naraka Chaturdashi.

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Day 3: Laxmi Pooja/ Gaii Tihar

The third day is known as Laxmi pooja which is one of the main day of the festival.  On this day people mainly worship Cow and this day is mainly taken as the day to worship Goddess Laxmi. So people of the village clean their yard with dunk of cows and make small patterns known as Rangoli.They make footsteps from the Rangoli to their worshiping rooms because it is believed that on laxmi pooja Goddess laxmi comes to the earth and move inside their house to bless  their family.

From the third day onward Tihar is celebrated with Deusi and Bhailo with light and fireworks. Ceremony is mostly sung by the boys while the Bhailo is sung by the girls.Deusi tells the story of the festival, with only one person narrating and others as chorus.

Day 4: Govardhan Pooja

The fourth day is known as Goru pooja also known as Govardan pooja.On this day people worship to Ox and put Garland on them etc. On this day Cow Dunk is taken as the representative of the Govardhan mountain and Worshipped mainly by those people who follow Vaishnavism.

Day 5: Bhai tika

The last day of the festival is known as Bhai tika where Every sister put tika to the forehead of their brothers for their long life and the protection they provide to them. There is a religious belief about this day that the god of death Yamraj visited his sister Yamuna and she applied tika.

And on that day Yamraj announced that the one who will apply tika on Bhai tika will never die on that day.