Diwali celebration in Nepal is one of the biggest festivals. Diwali is better is known as the Tihar festival Nepal is the 2nd most celebrated festival in Nepal after Dashain (Dussehra). In this festival, people not only celebrate the Gods but the animals and birds which share a close relationship with them. It is known by different names at different places but the soul of the festival remains the same. So the question arises, how to celebrate Diwali in Nepal that is also known as Tihar in Nepali.
Background of Diwali in Nepal
Diwali festival Nepal on the night of the New moon in the month of Kartik according to the Hindu calendar. The Whole festival stretches from two days to five days grand celebration. The whole Nepal observes a long week’s holiday during this festival. As per the English calendar, Tihar is observed in the month of late October to starting of the November month.
How is Diwali in Nepal Celebrated?
Diwali in Nepal, also called ‘Deepawali’ is more commonly known as the ‘Tihar festival’ among the locals. There are various other names like ‘Yamapanchak’ or ‘Swanti’. ‘Yamapanchak’ translates to the five days of Lord Yama, the God of Death. During this period, people pray to Lord Yama to appease him so that he may judge their virtues and vices fairly after their demise and leads their souls to heaven. The Nepalese people not only praise Gods and Deities like Shri Laxmi, Lord Yama, Govardhan Mountain, etc. but also honor and worship animals like crows, dogs, cows and oxen with the belief that it will bring happiness, success and good fortune in their lives. These animals are considered as divine gifts from mother nature by the people, and the relationship that they share with them is considered sacred.
The celebration starts almost a month ago when people start cleaning their homes, discarding all the unwanted and broken things and purchasing new clothes. Every family purchases items like clay lamps, rangoli colors and electric lights to decorate their houses with. Also, a variety of delicious snacks and sweets for the occasion.
Diwali in Nepal is celebrated in the whole of Nepal by the Hindus and Buddhists. However, few of the ceremonies that are of the Hindu mythological origin are omitted by the Buddhist people.
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About Tihar Festival in Nepal
There are many tales about the origins of Tihar. The most popular of them all is the story of Lord Yama, the God of Death and his sister the Yamuna. Lord Yama, the Hindu god of death, is believed to be the one who judges the souls of people after their death. He is the one who decides whether to send their souls to hell or heaven. Once, he was supposed to meet his sister, Yamuna. But he was unable to as he was busy with his work. On the other hand, Yamuna was eagerly waiting to meet her brother. So she sent messages to him, inviting him to come and meet her. As the legend goes, she sent a crow, a dog and then a cow as the messenger. But even then, Lord Yama did not come to see her. Finally, she had decided to go to herself and meet him. This day is observed as the day of Bhai ‘Tika’, the 5th day of Tihar. On this day, it is said that the Yamuna worshipped her brother and blessed him with good fortune. Hence, following the footsteps of Yamuna, the tradition of sisters paying respect to their brothers and praying for their well being was set.
The Five Day Celebration of Diwali in Nepal
The 5 days of the Tihar Nepali festival involves the worshipping of 5 different deities for peace and prosperity. These days are observed as follows –
Day 1: Kag Tihar as Worshipping the Crow
On the first day of Tihar, ‘Kag’ that is a crow, which is considered as the messenger of Yama is worshipped. People offer sweets and other delicacies on the rooftops of their houses or by sprinkling rice grains on the grounds. They feed the crows with the belief that crows will prevent any misfortunes in their family and will protect them from evil.
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Day 2: Kukur Tihar as Worshipping the Dog
In Nepal, Dogs are considered as the guardians to the gates of heaven. They are worshipped for their love, protection and their loyalty towards people. People put ‘Tika’ (red/ white color mark) on their forehead, a garland of marigold flowers around their neck and offer them a grand feast for dinner. It is also known as Kukur Tihar in Nepal.
Day 3: Gai Tihar as Worshipping the Cow
On the third day of Tihar, Cows are worshipped by putting a ‘tika’ on their forehead and garland of marigold around their neck. The night is when Diwali is celebrated. Peoples adore Goddess Laxmi and welcome her by lighting oil lights and lamps all around the house. Bright ‘Rangolis’ (freehand plans) are painted on the floor utilizing sand hues, multi-colored grains, and blooms. People frequently paint red-colored footsteps on their home passageway. These footsteps speak to the happening to Goddess Laxmi, who brings riches and flourishing.
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Day 4: Goru Tihar as Worshipping the Trio: The Ox, Govardhan Mountain and Oneself
Day 4 observes three distinctive worshippings or ‘Pujas’ for the duration of the day. Just as the crows, dogs, and cows are worshipped, people on the 4th Day worship oxen which have proved to be a farmer’s best friend in this agricultural land of Nepal. A few Hindus adore the Govardhan Mountain by organizing an agent little mountain symbol made of cow compost.
Day 5: Bhai Tika as Celebrating the Love of Brothers and Sisters in Nepal
For the assurance of siblings from all malevolent and to appeal to God for their long lives, Bhai Tika is celebrated. ‘Bhai’ in Nepal implies sibling. The sisters present favorable ‘mantras’ (drones), put a ‘tika’ (red shading mark) on their sibling’s temple and furthermore trade blessings with them. This day is praised in the brilliance of ‘Yamuna’, the sister of Lord Yama.
Significant Attractions During Celebrations of Diwali in Nepal
Diwali holiday in Nepal isn’t just restricted to the strict customary venerates. Nepal brings to the table a lot of increasingly cheerful encounters that can be delighted in just in the times of Tihar.
1. Grand Tihar Festival in Kathmandu
It will give everything in its fantastic Tihar festival in Kathmandu Nepal. Get the memorable experience of seeing all the puja or the stately adores of 5 days in this celebration. You can also get a hand on firing the crackers or decorating the houses with lamps and rangoli. The best fascination in this fest is the heart slamming march parade crowded with beautiful ladies in their traditional Nepalese attire followed by men beating loud the drums and singing songs.
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2. Rani Pokhari Temple
This temple is open to the public on the day of Bhai Tika, the 5th day of Tihar. In downtown Kathmandu, in the middle of an artificial 400 sq. meter pond lies the temple of one of the incarnations of Lord Shiva known as Matrikeshwar Mahadev. It is a delight to walk across the white bridge that leads to the temple premises.
3. Visit Thamel
They crowded and occupied with shopping lanes of Thamel in Kathmandu must be visited during the festival Diwali in Nepal. In their traditional Nepalese attire followed by men beating loud the drums and singing Nepali Tihar song. Going by walking through the clamoring market zones of Thamel is a dreamlike encounter. One can discover the lanes fixed with Nepali and Buddhist stores on the two sides, acclaimed for selling customary things. Visit Thamel will demonstrate to be the best visit to purchase Nepali gifts and getting a charge out of the scrumptious Nepali thalis with Daal, Bhat, and Tarkari. Additionally, always remember to snatch the mouth-watering momos of Nepal.
So here in this article, we have described all about the Diwali celebration in Nepal and also briefly how is Tihar celebrated in Nepal. I hope you will love reading this content and if you love to know more about the Diwali festival the world then kindly read our other articles as well which will help you to get some information about the Diwali celebration.
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