Tihar Festival 2021: Festival of Nepali Hindus
Also known as Yam Panchak, the festival is observed for five days. The first day of Yam Panchak is observed as Kaag Tihar by feeding crows, regarded as messengers in Nepali society.
Tihar: This is the festival of Nepalese. The duration of this festival is 5 days and each day has a unique way of celebration.
The first day of Tihar is called Kaag (crow) Tihar. Crows and ravens, believed to be the messengers of the death god Yama, are worshipped with offerings of grains, seeds, and sweets placed on the roofs or out on the streets. The crows remain active throughout the year, but they get to relax on this special day. Thus, it is mandatory to make them happy so that everyone receives pleasant news in the upcoming year.
Second is Kukur Tihar where people offer treats and place a tika on the head and garland of flowers around their neck. The dog is believed to serve the role of a gatekeeper of death. It implies that they lead the soul of the dead to the unknown realm. The dogs are provided with a delicious meal to thank them for their service.
The third day is Gai Tihar worshipping the cow in the morning. On this day, people are feeding cows and worshipping them with tikas and garland. Also, it is considered as the most important day of this festival because of Lakshmi Puja. In evening time, a special puja is offered to Goddess Lakshmi wishing for a wealth and good health.
The forth day is Gobardhan Puja where ox is worshiped by the people with tikas and garland of fresh flowers around the neck. This day is also known as 'Mah puja' of Newar communities. On this day, the self and the soul within is worshipped.
The fifth and the last day in Tihar where a special garland made of fresh flowers is placed on the brother's neck and colourful tika is placed on the forehead of their brothers and also tika is placed on the sister's forehead by the brother.