KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 12 Tihar festival, which is also called Yama Panchak or Deepawali, will start from tomorrow. The festival is generally celebrated for five days by performing various rituals. The first day of the festival is called Kaag Tihar, which will be observed tomorrow. On this day, crows are worshipped as the messengers of death. The second day (Saturday) is Kukur Tihar and Laxmi Puja. This year, Kukur Tihar and Laxmi Puja fall on the same day, according to Nepal Panchanga Nirnayan Samiti. In Kukur Tihar, dogs are worshipped as protectors of the house. A dog is the most loyal friend to human beings and it is also regarded as the symbol of Yama, the deity of death. Similarly, cows and Goddess Laxmi are worshipped in Laxmi Puja with the belief that it brings wealth and happiness to devotees. People from the Newar community will celebrate the third day (Sunday) of Yama Panchak as Mha Puja (worship of oneself). Likewise, Govardhan Puja and Bhai Tika also fall on the same day on Monday. In Bhai Tika, brothers receive tika from their sisters and vice versa. The auspicious hour for Bhai Tika is 11:37am, said NPNS. Also called the festival of lights, people decorate houses with colourful lights, flowers, oil lamps and fancy electric bulbs in Tihar. They cook and eat various delicacies, including sweets and sel roti. Similarly, Kija Puja (Newar version of Bhai Tika) will be on Tuesday. Playing Deusi-Bhailo and worshipping various animals and birds as part of nature are significant aspects of Tihar. However, the government has appealed to the people to shun cultural programmes, citing the COV- ID-19 pandemic this year. Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police Office has made special security arrangements to prevent any untoward incident in Kathmandu valley during Tihar festival. According to MPO, over 6,500 police personnel, both in uniform and plainclothes, will be deployed. Similarly, police have stepped up security to ensure that illegal and dangerous fireworks are not used in the valley. Security personnel have been keeping vigil on the outskirts of the valley, mainly at major entry points, to curb illegal import of explosive materials and firecrackers. All vehicles passing through entry points are subject to security checking.