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Tihar - A Hindu Festival of Lights and Colors

Marigold Flower Tihar

Tihar, a five day long Hindu festival is celebrated mainly in Nepal and India. It is the festival of lights and known as Deepawali, Diwali (in India), Swanti (Newari), Yamapanchak. It falls on the new moon night between mid-October and mid-November, Nepali Kartik month. Tihar festival is on

Tihar festival is the major festival of Nepal after Dashain. It is the great festival as animals like crows, cows, ox and dogs are honored.

Day 1: Kaag Tihar/Crow Day
Kaag Tihar

The first day of Tihar festival is Kaag Tihar and the people offer rice to the crows, the messenger of death. The cawing of crows symbolizes sadness or bad message in Hinduism, so devotees offer the food to crows to make them happy, otherwise they will inform the bad news and bad things would happen in the comming year.

Day 2: Kukur Tihar/Dog Day
Kukur Tihar

The second day of Tihar is celebrated as Kukur Tihar. On this day, people honor dogs by offering tika, garland and delicious food. Dogs symbolize friendship and loyalty and have the special space in our society. They protect human property and cattles from theft and wild animals. This is the day for thanking dogs for thier contributions in the social security.

Day 03: Gai Tihar/Laxmi Puja
Gai Tihar

The third day of Tihar is celebrated as Gai tihar in the morning and Laxmi puja in the evening. Laxmi is worshipped as the goddess of wealth.

Day 04: Goru Tihar/Govardan Puja
Gobardan Puja

The fourth day of Tihar is Goru puja or ox worshiping. During the day of celebration, oxen are worshiped offering with tika, delicious food and garland on their neck. People make a symbol of hill made of cow-dung and put grasses on it and perform puja over it. On this day, Newar community of Nepal observes Mha puja - a cultural program of worhiping one's own body. From this day, Newari New year starts as Nepal Sambat.

Day 05: Vai Tika
Bhai Tika

The last day of Tihar is Vai tika and the important day for sisters and brothers. On this day, brothers go to their sisters home to take tika on their forehead, makhamali mala (necklace of a kind of flower) and wishing for better, long life.

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