Laxmi Puja being observed on third day of Tihar

KATHMANDU: Hindus across the country are observing Laxmi Puja on the third day of Tihar festival that began from Monday.

People worship cows early in the morning and Goddess Laxmi in the evening wishing for prosperity in personal life as well as business on this day also called Gai Tihar. People celebrate with much enthusiasm by lighting their houses, singing, dancing and merry-making.

Tihar festival, which is also called Yama Panchak or Deepawali is observed for five days. Also known as the festival of lights, people celebrate Tihar by lighting their houses with butter lamps.

Yama, the God of death is also worshiped in this festival.  The relationship of Yama with his sister is marked during the festival which has a special significance in fostering love and respect among brothers and sisters.

Likewise, a small hillock made out of cow dung (representative of Govardhan Parbat) is worshipped on the fourth day of the festival called Govardhan Puja. People from the Newar community celebrate the fourth day of Yama Panchak as Mha Puja (worship of oneself). The day is also the beginning of Nepal Sambat calendar.

The fifth or the last day of Tihar is Bhai Tika — the day when brothers receive Tika from their sisters and vice versa. The auspicious hour for Bhai Tika this year is 11:55 am on Friday, November 9.

During the festival, people decorate their houses with colourful lights, flowers and oil lamps. They also cook and eat various delicacies, including sweets and sel roti, a traditional Nepali food made from rice flour, in the shape of a ring.

Playing Deusi-Bhailo and worshipping various animals and birds as parts of nature are significant aspects of this festival.