Distribution of sweets signifies that my words should be soft, sweet and should have essence. Praying and performing Puja (rituals of burning incense, sprinkling holy water and offering sweet fragrant flowers) signify that I am in readiness to offer all my weaknesses, burning them through the fire of yoga.

Diwali, known as Tihar, in Nepal, is celebrated for five days, a period of great festivities observed with great pomp and show. On the first day the Nepalis cook rice and feed them to the crows. They worship and pray Lakshmi should come to them. The next day is known as “swan day.” Swan is considered as the conveyance of Bhairava. Delicious food is cooked on this day and is placed before the swan (dog) for eating. The dog is worshipped with arti, having garlanded it and after applying tika on its forehead. An effort is made to please the swan.

Third day is the day of illumination, as in India. Earthenware lamps are lit all over. It is considered as the victory of Light over Darkness. They also believe it to be a celebration in honour of righteous. Rama’s victory over Sri Lanka and his return to Ayodhaya. The goddess of wealth Lakshmi is worshipped. Illumination, fireworks and crackers are widely used.

Fourth day is devoted to the worship of Yama, the God of death. The Nepalis invoke Yama and pray for long life.

The fifth and the final day is observed as Bhai Tika or Bhaiya Dooj as in India. — Hindu Festivals, Fairs and Fasts, concluded