Tihar is the second biggest festival in Nepal. The five-days-long festival falls in either September or October. Each of the five days are specially dedicated to a living being. The first day is dedicated to a bird, crow. The second day is dedicated to dog, a very good pet of human kind. The third day is for cow, fourth day is dedicated to ox and the fifth is the day of brothers and sisters.
The festival is an indication of how the people in Nepal give importance to other living things. The festival also shows the cultural significance of animals and birds in Nepal.
5 Days of Tihar:
Kaag Tihar (Crow’s Day)
Kukur Tihar (Dog’s Day)
Gai Tihar, Laxmi Puja, Deepawali (Cow’s Day)
Govardan Puja, Mha Puja
First Day of Tihar – Kaag Tihar
On the day, food is given to crow and worshipped. The crow is considered to bring news to the people. They worship the bird and tell it to bring only the good news.
In addition to the traditional belief, scientifically, crow is helpful to the farmers as it eats damaging bugs and saves the crops. Crow is also an important part of the ecology.
Second Day of Tihar – Kukur Tihar
On the second day, dogs are worshiped in Nepal. The dos is considered one of the most faithful domestic animal. Traditionally dogs have been kept at homes to keep the home safe from bad people. Dogs usually scare away thugs and thieves and it is also a good friend of the owner.
Third Day of Tihar – Laxmi Pooja (Gai Tihar)
The third day is special day in the festival. On the day, the goddess of wealth, Laxmi is worshipped. On the day, homes are cleaned and decorated by flowers and lights. It is believed that Laxmi likes light in homes and she visits the homes that look attractive. The safe and wealth are worshipped, foods are offered to the Goddess and people play cards on the day.
Youngsters, specially girls, go door-to-door to sing Bhaili song and dance. The owner of the home give food and money to the group. The song goes like:
The fourth day is the day of ox. On the day, Newar community people perform a self-worship ceremony called Mha Pooja. On the occasion, people worship oneself and celebrate by eating special cuisine and drinks. The Newar community also celebrate their new on the day.
Like the girls on Gai Tihar, boys go door-to-door on the fourth day of Tihar to sing Deusi. The special singing and dancing program is done by a group of people in which one leads by saying a statement, and others add “Deusi Re”.
An example of Deusi looks like:
Bhana Bhana Bhai ho
Swor Milai kana
These days, in some groups, a full performance of music and dancing are performed by artists. The owner of the house gives money and foods to the performers.
Fift Day of Tihar – Bhai Tika
The last and the most important day of Tihar is Bhai Tika. On the day, sisters offer Tika to their brothers and brothers do the same to their sisters. Brothers offer gifts and presents to their sisters and sisters give foods to their brother.
It is believed that sisters love towards their brothers help them in difficult situations. The tika is believed to keep the brothers safe and a long life.