Bhaitika being marked throughout country today

KATHMANDU: Bhaitika, the most important day of Tihar is being marked today. Hindu sisters throughout the country offer 'tika' to their brothers wishing them happiness, long life and prosperity on the occasion of Bhaitika.

Bhaitika falls on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) in the month of Kartik in Bikram Sambat (BS) calendar.

The auspicious hour for offering the tika is at 11:51 am this year. However, it can be held until sunset, according to the Chairman of National Calendar Determination Committee Prof Dr Ramchandra Gautam.

On this day, brothers are seated at a specially anointed place around which a trail of mustard oil is drawn. The sisters then offer colourful tika that consists seven colours called 'Saptarangi' and garlands of green grass called 'dubo' also known as 'Cynodon dactylon', and separate garlands of globe amaranth called 'Makhamali', to their brothers.

After placing colourful tika on the foreheads of their brothers, sisters offer them a treat consisting varieties of sweets, walnut, spices and 'Sel' (small cake made of rice flour, in the shape of a ring, and filled with fruits and sugar).

Brothers also apply  colourful tika that consists five colours called 'Pancharangi' on their sisters' forehead in return, wishing them happiness and good luck, and give them presents.

The occasion commemorates a legendary event in which a sister has won a boon from "Yama", the deity of death that her brother would not die until the mustard oil is dried up and the garland of 'Dubo' and 'Makhamali' faded.

(With inputs from Rastriya Samachar Samiti)