Thanks to my fellow blogger Basundhara (Nepal mero maya) for taking such an interest in my blog. I am writing Tihar posts with your comments in mind.
Tihar is the second biggest festival of Hindus in Nepal. It is celebrated over 5 days which are:
- Kag (crow) Puja
- Kukur (dog) Puja
- Laxmi Puja and Gai (cow) Puja
- Goru Puja,Gobhardan Puja ,Mha Puja and Nepal Sambat
- Bhai Tika
Each day has different significance.
This year Tihar is from 25 October to 28 October.
Tihar is also called the festival of lights so houses in Nepal are decorated with lights and garlands of the marigold flowers. Normally houses are decorated either using traditional diyos (oil-fed lamps made with clay ), candles or electrical lights hangings from the roof in front of the house. During the night if you walk through the main roads of the city, it looks beautiful with the houses all around light up for the festival.
There are lots of stories/ mytological reasons behind the celebration of Tihar. One of them is that Lord Ram return to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. He killed Ravan on Nawani of Dashain thus we celebrate Dashain and his home coming is celebrated in Tihar with lights and flowers.
One of the thing I remember about Tihar is playing Langurburja. It is a game similar to the British dice game “Crown and Anchor”. I remember taking money from dad and running to play a game with my friends. The game is played with 6 dice and a mat. The mat has similar symbols, as the dice, and they are spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs, crown and flag. The player can choose one or more symbols to bet his money on. If he gets at least one die with the same symbol which he bet on, he wins. If he gets two then he wins 2:1, the more he gets on the throw the more money he wins. As a kid we used to play for 25 paisa (equivalent to less than a cent in AUD now) a game. It was more for fun than for the money. I am sure they now play with more money than that.
Adults mostly play cards instead of Langurburja.
Tihar is celebrated a bit differently in various ethnic groups in Nepal. I will be writing my post based on the Newari culture.
As the festival progresses, I will keep posting more on what I did and what each day is about.