Tihar Festival – an introduction to Bhai Tika, Deepawali, Kaag Tihar, Kukur Tihar

Every year, in October/November, people in Nepal and Nepali all over the world celebrate Tihar festival. This year, in 2016, the five-days-long festival Tihar was completed on November 1.


Some facts about Tihar festival

  • Tihar is the second biggest festival in Nepal. (First biggest festival is Dashain.)
  • Tihar is celebrated for 5 days.
  • It is the festival of lights. Houses are decorated and lit with colourful lights.
  • It is the festival of birds, animals and people. Nepali people worship crow, dog, cow and themselves on Mha Puja and brother/sisters on Bhai Tika.
  • It is the festival of music and dance. People go to houses to sing and dance in Bhaili and Deusi songs. It is like trick-or-treating on Halloween in Western countries.

5 Days of Tihar

  1. Kaag Tihar (Crow’s Day)
  2. Kukur Tihar (Dog’s Day)
  3. Gai Tihar, Laxmi Puja, Deepawali (Cow’s Day)
  4. Govardan Puja, Mha Puja
  5. Bhai Tika

An introduction of Tihar (video):

First day – Kaag Tihar

On the first day, crows are worshiped and fed in the morning. Crows are the messenger of death or bad luck so, people worship crow to bring good luck to themselves.

Second day – Kukur Tihar

The second day is called Kukur Puja (or Khicha Puja in Newari). Dog is one of the most loyal friend of mankind. Dogs are worshipped, fed and offered tika and mala on the second day of Tihar.

Third day – Gai Tihar, Laxmi Puja, Deepawali

The third day is a combination of a number of celebrations. It is the Laxmi Puja day – Laxmi, the goddess of wealth is worshiped. As Laxmi likes light, houses are lit and a path is made with oil-candles on the way leading to the place where Laxmi is worshiped. Colourful Rangoli are also prepared on the path. Because of the lights and the celebration this day is also called Deepawali.

Cow is also worshiped on this day as a mother as she gives the milk. On the evening, young girls go door to door singing Bhailani song.

Fourth day – Goru Puja

On the fourth day of Tihar, ox are worshiped. In the evening, children and young men go door to door singing Deusi. Deusi is very similar to Bhailo, of the 3rd day.

Fifth Day – Bhai Tika

The last day of Tihar is Bhai Tika. On Bhai Tika, sisters put “Tika” on their brothers’s forehead, wishing their long life. Brothers also do the same to their sisters. Tihar Tika has five colors — yellow, green, red, blue and white colours.

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