CREDOS : Bhai Tika

Bhai Tika is the fifth and final day of the popular Festival of Light called ‘Tihar’ or ‘Panchak Yama’. As Bhai Tika is a part of Tihar celebrations it is also known as ‘Bhai Tihar’. Bhai Tika is an extremely important festival for brothers and sisters all over Nepal.

Legend holds that when the Kirat king fell ill, Yama sent messages in the form of dogs and crows. His sister guarded him by sending messages that he could take him only after fulfilling certain conditions; that the god of death should wait till Panchami.

She also put forth conditions that Yama should not take her brother until the tika, which she

had smeared on his forehead, fades away, the water sprinkled dries and the Makhmali (a kind of flower) wilts.

To begin the ceremony, sister draws three mandaps or boundaries at a designated place.

The mandaps are one each for Lord Ganesh, Janmaraj (the god of birth)and Yamaraj(god of death). The sisters then perform puja of the deities. After this, brother is given a seating on a mat for the tika ceremony.

Sisters apply a special Paanch Rangi Tika’ consisting of five colours (red, green, blue, yellow and white) on the forehead of their brother. Following the custom, Sister worships for her brother’s long life, andhappiness .

This interesting tradition is symbolic of the belief that no one including Yama can cross this line of protection guarded by a loving sister for her brothers. Brothers also bless their sisters for a happy life. —