Tag Archives: Bhai Tika

Chhori’s Bhai Tika

We just finished our second biggest festival of the year, Tihar on Saturday.

Please click here to know more about the festival.

Sharing some photos of the day as it was so cute to see Chhori independently doing her Bhai Tika to my nephew.

Here are the posts I have written regarding Tihar over the years.

 

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to nominate your favourite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2017

 

Chhori’s first Tihar

Tihar, the second biggest festival for Hindus after Dashain, was from 28th Oct to 1st Nov this year. Please click here to know more about the festival.

This year was Chhori’s first Tihar celebration so I wanted to make sure she had a great memory of the celebration.

bhai-tika-12 bhai-tika-7

Tihar is celebrated for five days and here are some photos from our celebration this year.

  • Kaag / Kag (crow) Puja

kaj-puja-2 kaj-puja-1

  • Kukur (dog) Puja

kukur-puja-2 kukur-puja-1

  • Laxmi Puja and Gai (cow) Puja

laxmi-puja-4 laxmi-puja-5 laxmi-puja-3 laxmi-puja-6 laxmi-puja-2

  • Goru Puja,Gobhardan Puja , Mha Puja and Nepal Sambat

As my parents are here this year, it was great to have a whole family celebrating Mha puja.

mha-puja-3 mha-puja-4 mha-puja-1 mha-puja-2

  • Bhai Tika

Chhori does Bhai tika to my nephew. It was so cute to see these little ones performing the ritual.

bhai-tika-15 bhai-tika-14 bhai-tika-13 bhai-tika-1 bhai-tika-9 bhai-tika-16 bhai-tika-4 bhai-tika-5

Hope everyone celebrating had great Tihar too.

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Happy Tihar!!!

Today we start the second biggest festival, after Dashain, for Hindu from Nepal.

Tihar

This festival is celebrated in five days starting from the thirteenth day of the waning moon in October.

 The five days are called

Mha Puja (10)

Hope all of you are enjoying with lots of yummy food like Selroti, Lal mohan, Besan ko ladoo and other sweets.

Sel roti (4)

With gleam of Diyos
And the Echo of the Chants
May Happiness and Contentment Fill Your life
Wishing you and your family
Happy and Prosperous Tihar!!

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to nominate  your favorite blog .

Nominations open for NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

Celebrating Tihar

Like every year, we celebrated Tihar this year as well. For the details of the festival, please click here. I am sharing some of the photos from the festival.

Kaag / Kag (crow) Puja

Kaag puja (2)Kaag puja (1)

Kukur (dog) Puja

kukur puja (2) kukur puja (1)

Laxmi Puja and Gai (cow) Puja

laxmi puja (9)laxmi puja (7) laxmi puja (1) laxmi puja (3) laxmi puja (4) laxmi puja (5) laxmi puja (6) laxmi puja (8)

Mha Puja and Nepal Sambat

mha puja (2) mha puja (5)mha puja (4) mha puja (3) mha puja (6) mha puja (7) mha puja (1)

Bhai Tika

IMG_3217 IMG_3237 IMG_3259 IMG_3265 IMG_3269 IMG_3361 IMG_3390

This year, I have one more person to put tika on and that is my little nephew. It was so much fun and amazingly he even managed to sit still on his father’s lap in front of the mandap for the whole puja.

IMG_3246

Hope all of you had great time celebrating the festival.

tihar

P.S: Do not forget to nominate  your favorite blog .

Nominations open for NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2013

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Bhai Tika : Tihar

The last day of Tihar is Bhai Tika which is also called Bhatridutiya in Sanskrit. “Bhai” means brother in Nepali. The festival culminates in Bhai Tika, a day that rests on the premises of love, rituals, beautiful hues, reverence and puja done especially for one’s brother. This occasion honors brother-sister relationships, celebrating the holy emotional bond that they share. It is marked by offering special prayers for one’s brother’s prosperity and long life.

Legend holds that when the Kirati King Bali Hang fell mortally ill, his sister Jamuna looked after him and guarded him. When Yamaraj, the God of Death, came for Bali Hang’s soul, Jamuna pleaded with him to wait until she finished worshipping her brother; that is, until Panchami (Bhai Tika). She then conducted a long and elaborate ceremony for her brother, and performed the same for Yamaraj. She also put forth some conditions: that Yamaraj should not take Bali Hang until the tika, which she had smeared on his forehead, fades away; until the water sprinkled on her brother dries; and until the makhmali flowers wilt. Over the years Yamaraj sent his messengers to inspect the flowers, and when the next Bhai Tika puja arrived Yamaraj admitted that he had lost Bali Hang’s soul to his pious sister and granted him a long life.

The modern day Jamunas remember the legend and perform the rituals with much enthusiasm, love and gaiety. They believe that the required rituals will protect their brothers from untimely death and that they will enjoy a long life, health and prosperity.

In this day, sisters apply sacred Tika on their brother’s forehead and pray to Lord Yama for her brother’s long life and prosperity.

Some of the ethnic groups in Nepal use the Pancha Rangi Tika (Five coloured Tika) for  Bhai Tika. First a base, rice flour is applied vertically on the forehead then yellow, green, red, blue and white colour Tika are put on top of this line in a row.

But in the Newar culture, we just use rice, vermilion and yogurt, mix them and use that as a Tika.

Those who do not have a brother or sister visit Yamarajeswor Temple at Rani Pokhari, in downtown Kathmandu. There they pay homage to Lord Shiva and receive bhai tika. Interestingly, the temple remains locked up all year round except on this particular day.

For this occasion, I had invited my brothers and their families to my place and we did the Bhai Tika on my balcony.

Before the Bhai Tika, just like in Maha Puja, the floor was purified by sprinkling water on it, and then we made Mandaps in front of a row of seats on the floor where my brothers were sitting. I used a copy of the same Mandap which was designed by AS but this time I printed them on A3 paper.

In Nepal, the Mandaps are made by hand on the floor using oil, rice flour, vermilion, puffed rice and sometimes beans. The number of the Mandaps needed is three plus the number of people doing the Puja. So I had two big Mandaps, for my brothers, in a row and three smaller Mandaps at the top of the row for the Family Deity (Kuladevata), Yamaraj and Janmaraj, and one crow drawn at the end of the row symbolising Lord Yama.

Beside the three Mandaps at one end, I also had a Sukunda with a candle on it.

Then I put all the sweets and Rotis that I had made or bought as well as some fruits around the Mandap along with the sweets, Masala and Sagun.

Then I had trays with fruits like mangoes, oranges, apples, cup-cakes, lamingtons and cakes. I bake it and wrote Happy Bhai Tika on it.

I made Masala at home this year with dry coconuts, dry dates, raisins, almonds, pistachio nuts, apricots, dry figs, cashews, cloves, cardamoms, beetle nuts, hard shelled walnuts, palm sugar cubes and lots of Chocolates. I used clear cello wrap and colourful bows to make it look beautiful.

For Sagun, I boiled the eggs, took the shell out and fried them in a pan. I made Bara, fried some chicken, fish and cut fresh garlic.

I made Mala out of tinsel and bought Jajanka in a Nepali grocery store.

Jajanka is made of many rounds of a white cotton thread forming a circle of about two feet in diameter and tied with a small piece of colourful cloth in order to have no ends. Jajanka symbolizes the integration of the beginning with the end. It is about creation, maintenance and fullness of life. Normally the Mala is supposed to be of Makhmali ful/Supadi ful (Globe Amaranth) as it never dries and always looks fresh.

My Bhai tika process

  • First I gave Nasala, a few drops of water, in the palm of the right hand of my brothers to sprinkle some into the mouth and rest over the body for purification.

  • I worshipped the Family Deity and Yama’s Mandap with water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder.

  • I gave water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder to my brothers, first to worship the Mandap of the House God and then the crow, then to worship their own Mandaps. The Mandap is used as a medium to present the various offerings to the self.
  • Then I put Tika made of vermillion, rice and yogurt on my brothers’ forehead and gave them flowers to put on their head as a blessing form God. This was followed by Mala and Jajanka around their neck.

  • Normally in Nepal, they use Itaa (special long strands made using white cloth soaked in mustard oil) but here we used tea light candles instead. I gave both my brothers the candles. They took the candle from my hand, lit them and put them on their Mandap. This light is believed to brighten the inner self and keep evil at bay.
  • Then I took some water in an Ankhura (a small pitcher for Puja) filled with oil and water and Dubo in my hand and circled around my brothers three times.
  • Then I gave them some rice and flower in their hand. I then gave trays of Rotis, fruits, Masala, sweets and clothes to them and they had to hold them and keep them from touching the ground. Then I took some rice and flower in my hand and showered each of them and worshipped the god within them. Only after that could they put the trays down.

  • Then my brothers put Tika on my forehead, touched my feet for my blessings and gave me the gifts they had brought for me.

  • I gave them the Sagun. For Sagun, you put a plate of egg, Bara, meat and fish in the right hand and yogurt or alcohol in the left hand.

  • Once everyone finished eating the Sagun, we used Kucho (broom) to sweep the mandaps starting from the top end of the row of Mandaps to the bottom of the row, touching each Mandap to erase them and concluded our Bhai Tika.

P.S:  Photos update.

Tihar

Today we start the second biggest festival, after Dashain, for Hindu from Nepal.

This festival is celebrated in five days starting from the thirteenth day of the waning moon in October.

 The five days are called

  • Kaag / Kag (crow) Puja
  • Kukur (dog) Puja
  • Laxmi Puja and Gai (cow) Puja
  • Goru Puja,Gobhardan Puja , Mha Puja and Nepal Sambat
  • Bhai Tika

We also refer to Tihar as ‘Panchak Yama’ which literally means ‘The five days of the Lord of the underworld’. We also worship ‘Yamaraj’ in different forms in these five days.

In other words this festival is meant for life and death.The five-day festival is considered to be of great importance as it shows reverence to not just the humans and the Gods, but also to the animals like crow, cow and dog, who maintain an intense relationship with the humans. It is also a time for cooking great meals at home, brothers and sisters shopping for gifts, flying kites, decorating homes and streets, playing cards with friends, resting and relaxing.

Tihar is also called The Festival of Lights, as many diyo or candles or decorative lights are lit both inside and outside the houses to make them bright at night. All the houses are cleaned and decorated with the belief that Goddess Laxmi will enter the house that is clean so people light candles, oil lamps and other lights and thus during the night the entire village or city looks like millions of sparkling gems.

There is a story, which tells why this revelry is celebrated so widely. Once there was a king who was living his last days. His astrologer had told him that a serpent would come and take his life away. The king did not want to die so he asked the astrologer if there was any way to escape death. The king was advised to sleep with lit oil lamps all around his bed and decorate the palace with oil lamps on the day of Laxmi puja so that Goddess Laxmi would talk to the serpent not to take his life. It did happen; the serpent was convinced by Goddess Laxmi. The serpent took the king to Yama Raj and told him that it was not yet the king’s time to come to the underworld. So Yama Raj opened his ledger and in it the kings remaining age was written zero, but the serpent cleverly put seven before zero. Thus the king lived for seventy more years. So form then onwards Tihar is widely celebrated worshipping the lord of the underworld and Goddess Laxmi.

Another mytological reasons behind the celebration  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.

Tihar is also celebrated by 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.

It also incorporates the Newar’s New Year, which is called Nepal Sambat.

Last weekend, I went shopping in preparation of the festival and bought lots of sweets, fruits and food.  I couldn’t find all the things I will need for Tihar and I was a bit disappointed in Nepali/Indian grocery in Sydney who are charging arms and legs for things we use for Tihar. Just an example, we need jajanka for Tihar which normally would cost around Rs 10 in Nepal but are selling for $2 (Rs180) each in Sydney!

Kaag Puja / Kag Puja

The first day of Tihar is Kaag / Kag (crow) puja which falls on 12 November this year.

Crow is supposed to be a henchman for Lord Yamaraj. Hindus believe crows to be messengers of good or bad news. With its croaking, it conveys messages like visitor coming to the house etc. It is also believed to be a messenger of Yama, the God of death

To avert grief and death in the family, Hindus worship crows during Kaag / Kag Tihar offering it sweets and various dishes. On this day crows are offered food on a plate made out of leaves in the morning before anyone in the house takes in food. In Nepal a crow is not killed cause as a legend says that one crow had happened to drink the water of life. Thus you can see crows everywhere sitting without the fear of human beings. Once you leave offerings on the balcony, a crow will come and eat the food.

Where there are no crows, any winged animal of the heavens (bird) will enjoy the feast.

In Australia, I haven’t seen many crows around so I printed a photo of a crow and performed the Puja this morning. I had a shower and then prepared puja. Here are some photos of Kaag / Kag puja from this morning 🙂

Happy Tihar everyone!!!

I will write about other days like Kukur Puja, Gai Puja and Laxmi Puja, Goru Puja , Govardhan Puja , Mha Puja and Nepal Sambat and Bhai Tika as the festival progresses.

Bhai Tika

The fifth day of Tihar is Bhai Puja.

Bhai” mean brother in Nepali. This festival is mainly for brothers and sisters.

It is believed that this tradition was started by Yama (the God of death) and his sister Yamuna because of their affection for each other.

In this day, sisters apply sacred Tika on their brother’s forehead and pray to Lord Yama for her brother’s long life and prosperity.

Yamaleswor temple

Some of the ethnic groups in Nepal use the Pancha Rangi Tika (Five coloured Tika)  for  Bhai Tika. First a base, rice flour is applied vertically  on the forehead then yellow, green, red, blue and white colour Tika are put on top of this line in a row. But in the Newa culture, we just use rice, vermilion and yogurt, mix them and use that as a Tika.

For this occasion, I had invited my brothers and their families to my apartment and we did the Bhai Tika on my balcony.

This is how I did my Bhai Tika.

Mandap Puja

Before the Bhai Tika, just like in Mha Puja, the floor was purified by sprinkling water on it, then we made Mandaps in front of a row of seats on the floor where my brothers were sitting. I used a copy of the same Mandap which was designed by AS but this time I printed them in A3 paper. In Nepal the Mandaps are made by hand on the floor using oil, rice flour, vermilion, puffed rice and sometimes beans. The number of the Mandaps needed is three plus the number of people doing the Puja. So I had two big Mandaps, for my brothers. in a row and three smaller Mandaps at the top of the row for the House God (Kuladevata), Yamaraj and Janmaraj, and one crow drawn at the end of the row symbolising Lord Yama.

Beside the three Mandaps at one end, I also had a Sukunda with a candle on it.

Bhai Tika

Then I put all the sweets and Rotis that I had made or bought as well as some fruits around the Mandap along with the Masala and Sagun.

The Rotis I made at home this year were

  • Besana ko ladoo
  • Puri
  • Nimki
  • Lal Mohan
  • Strawberry cup cake
  • Chocolate cup cake

(I will post recipes in my next post)

I also bought Soan Papdi.

Then I had trays with fruits like mangoes, peaches, plums, rockmelons, oranges, apples and pears.

Masala and Tshirt

I made Masala at home this year with dry coconuts, dry dates, raisins, almonds, pistachio nuts, apricots, dry figs, cashews, cloves, cardamoms, beetle nuts, hard shelled walnuts, palm sugar cubes and lots of Chocolates. I used clear cello wrap and colourful bows to make it look beautiful.

For Sagun, I boiled the eggs, took the shell out and fried them in a pan. I made Bara (lentil cakes, for which I will share recipe later), fried some chicken, fish and cut fresh garlic.

Jajanka

I made Mala out of tinsel and bought Jajanka in a Nepali grocery store. Jajanka is made of many rounds of a white cotton thread forming a circle of about two feet in diameter and tied with a small piece of colourful cloth in order to have no ends. Jajanka symbolizes the integration of the beginning with the end. It is about creation, maintenance and fullness of life. Normally the Mala is supposed to be of Makhmali ful/Supadi ful (Globe Amaranth) as it never dries and always looks fresh.

I also bought  T-shirts for both of them.

Bhai tika process

  •  First I gave Nasala, a few drops of water, in the palm of the right hand of my brothers to throw some into the mouth and rest over the body for purification.
  • I worshipped the House-God and Yama’s Mandap with water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder.
  • I gave water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder to my brothers first to worship the Mandap of the House God and then the crow, then to worship their own Mandaps. The Mandap is used as a medium to present the various offerings to the self.
  • Then I put Tika made of vermillion, rice and yogurt on my brothers forehead and gave them flowers to put on their head as a blessing form God. This was followed by Mala and Jajanka around their neck.

    Putting TIka

  • Normally in Nepal, they use Ita (special long threads made using white cloth soaked in mustard oil) but here we used tea light candles instead. I gave both my brothers the candles. They  took the candle from my hand, lit them and put them on their Mandap. This light is believed to brighten the inner self and keep evil at bay.
  • Then I took some water in an Ankhura (a small pitcher for Puja) filled with oil and water and Dubo in my hand and circled around my brothers three times.

    Making circle with oil and water

  • Then I gave them some rice and flower in their hand. Then I gave trays of Rotis, fruits, Masala, sweets and clothes to them and they had to hold them and keep them from touching the ground. Then I toke some rice and flower in my hand and showered each of them and worshipped the god within them. Only after that could they put the trays down.
  • Then my brothers put Tika on my forehead, touched my feet for my blessings and gave me the gifts they had brought for me. 
  • I gave them the Sagun . For Sagun, you put a plate of egg, Bara, meat and fish in the right hand and yogurt or alcohol in the left hand
  • Once everyone finished eating the Sagun, we used Kucho (broom) from top end of the row of Mandaps to the bottom of the row, touching each Mandpa to erase them and conclude our Bhai Tika.

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