Diwali in Nepal - Nishan Karki
We all celebrate various festivals, one of which is Diwali, or the festival of light. It is one of the biggest and most popular festivals in India. It is celebrated with immense joy, enthusiasm, and happiness.
Have you ever wondered how Diwali is celebrated in Nepal?
You may have, or maybe not.
Diwali is called Tihar in Nepal. It is also one of the most popular and biggest festivals in Nepal. It is celebrated differently in Nepal in contrast to India.
Tihar is marked by lighting diyas inside and outside the home. Still, unlike Diwali in other parts of India, the five days of Tihar include the celebration and worship of the four creatures associated with the Hindu god of death, Yama, and the goddess of wealth and prosperity, Laxmi. Nepal's various communities celebrate Tihar in different ways. People decorate their houses, make rangoli, light diyas and eat delicious food. Special foods such as sel roti, finni roti, and patre are eaten during Tihar.
The celebration of Tihar goes on for five days. The first day is called Kaag Tihar. On this day, we worship crows (kaag in Nepali ). We prepare delicious food and offer it to the crows.
The second day is called Kukur Tihar. On this day, we worship dogs (kukur in Nepali). We make marigold garland and put it around the dog's neck. Fresh and delicious food is also offered to the dogs. The third day is called the Gai Tihar. We worship cows (Gai in Nepali) on this day. We offer delicious food and put garland around the cow's neck. Goddess Laxmi is also celebrated on this day. She is offered prayers and puja. She is believed to bring wealth, prosperity, and happiness to people.
We perform Bhailo on this day. (At night, Bhailo is performed by girls and women.) The girls performing Bhailo are called Bhailini. The fourth day is called Goru Tihar. On this day, we worship oxen (goru in Nepali). Oxen are worshipped in the same manner as cows are.
We perform Deusi on this day. Both boys and men perform deusi. The boys performing Deusi are called Deuse. The fifth day is called Bhai Tika (bhai dooj in India). Bhai means brother in Nepali. On this day, sisters pray to Yamraj for a long life and prosperity for their brothers. The ritual involves sisters marking the foreheads of their brothers with a seven-coloured long tika. The brothers bring gifts to their sisters and the festival ends with feasting.
Now, let's talk more about Deusi and Bhailo. Deusi and Bhailo are Nepalese traditional folk songs sung during the Tihar festival. Children and adults perform Deusi/Bhailo by singing songs and dancing as they go to various homes in their community, collecting money, sweets, and food, and giving blessings for prosperity. At the end of these songs, the house owner serves food and gives money to the Deusi/ Bhailo singers and dancers.
Name: Nishan Karki