Crows feast on delicacies as Tihar begins

Kathmandu, November 7:

Tihar, the second biggest festival of the Hindus in Nepal, commenced today.

On the first day of the five-day-long festival, people worshiped crows. This day is known as Kag Tihar.

The crow is taken as a messenger of Yama — the god of death — and worshiped. On this day, people offer delicious food items to crows in the morning before taking meal.

The second day is celebrated as Kukur Tihar — the dog’s day. On this day, dogs are garlanded and fed delicious food in recognition of their service to mankind. According to legends, dogs guard the entrance to the kingdom of Yama. The third day is celebrated as Laxmi Puja. Prayers are offered to Laxmi, the goddess of wealth. Cow is worshiped in the morning, while Laxmi is worshiped at night.

Devotees believe that Laxmi visits their homes at night to check who are lying awake. Many people stay awake, hoping that the goddess will be pleased and shower them with wealth.

The fifth day is celebrated as Bhai Tika. On this day, sisters, wishing for well-being and prosperity of their brothers, put seven-coloured Tika on their foreheads. Brothers also put Tika on the foreheads of their sisters and present gifts to them.

Tihar is also known as the festival of lights because, during this festival, diyo (earthen lamps) and candles are lit inside and around houses. Electric lights twinkling everywhere also give the feel of Tihar. People visit households to play Deusi and Bhailo. A lot of people also take to gambling during Tihar.

Flouting government’s request, firecrackers are being smuggled into the country and used.