Tihar begins with Kaag Tihar

KATHMANDU: Tihar, the second largest festival of the Nepali Hindus begins from today. Also known as Yampanchak, the festival is observed for five days.

The first day of the Yamapanchak is observed as Kaag Tihar by feeding crows, regarded as messengers in the Nepali society.

The second day is Kukur Tihar (worship of the dogs) while the third is Gai Tihar and Laxmi Pooja (worshipping of the cows in the morning and Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth in the Hindu mythology in the evening).

Likewise, the fourth day is observed as Goru Pooja (worship of the oxen), and Mha Pooja (worship of own soul) in the Newar community while the fifth and final day is Bhai Tika.

Bhai Tika, a festival to celebrate the bond between brothers and sisters, falls on November 13 this year. Sisters put Tika wishing for longevity and prosperity of their brothers, while brothers in turn give gifts and pledge to take care of their sisters.

The auspicious time for the Bhai Tika this Tihar is at 11:55 am, according to the Nepal Panchanga Nirnayak Samiti.

Tihar is also a festival of lights and flowers, where people decorate homes with colourful lights or oil-fed lamps and eat various delicacies including sweets and sel roti as a part of this festival. Playing of Deusi Bhailo and worshipping different animals and birds are also significant aspects of this festival.

The government has announced a three-day public holiday starting from Laxmi Pooja to Bhai Tika for the festival