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tihar, merriest festival of nepal

Glittering lights welcome good luck and prosperity during the Hindu festival Tihar. The festival, also known as Deepawili and Diwali, is celebrated for 5 days every year in Nepal. Each day has its own stories, rituals and ceremonies. Sim, a friend in Nepal, tells.  

Magical animals

"During Tihar, we worship the goddess of wealth, Mahalaxmi. Cows are important those days because they are seen as the reincarnated form of Mahalaxmi. During the first 3 days, other animals also play an important role. Crows, for example, the emissaries of Yama, the god of death. And on the 2nd day, dogs are worshiped, cherished for their companionship and loyalty."

Thousand lights

"When the sun sets, everyone makes their homes beautiful. Colorful lights hang everywhere, so that thousands of lights burn on the evenings of Tihar. The cheerful mandalas at the front door welcome goddess Mahalaxmi."

From door to door

"If you walk outside, you can hear people everywhere singing deusi and bhailo. They are traditional Tihar songs, and probably written back in the Middle Ages. With deusi and bhailo, groups of people go from door to door. In exchange for some food and money, they bless the residents and the house with their songs."

Love for yourself

"On the 4th day of Tihar, we celebrate the New Year of the Newar culture in Nepal. That day coincides with the Mhaa Puja ritual. A ritual for honoring yourself. Because being thankful for your health and giving yourself love is not to be forgotten."

Brothers and sisters

"There is a beautiful story about a brother and sister and Yama, the god of death. Yama came to get a girl's sick brother. The sister begged Yama to wait until the tika on his forehead had faded, until the oil in his hair and on the mandala had dried, and until the garland of flowers had wilted. But the flowers remained fresh and the oil did not dry up: Yama granted the brother a long life. And with this story in mind, sisters give gifts to their brothers on the last day of Tihar. To celebrate their lives and especially to reflect on their special bond with each other."

 

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