History of Tihar:- Tihar is the second most celebrated festival after Dashain in Nepal and India as these two are the only Hindu countries in the whole world. Tihar is the biggest festival. It comes right after Dashain. Tihar is the festival where the amount of joy and happiness is altered among the people who are in immense distance relationships.
Thus, it is the festival of light. It is the major Hindu festival that is celebrated for five days in October or early November each year. The first day is called the king puja where a crow is worshipped for grieving its dead family members. The family worships the crows and then they put tika, garland, and other various worshipping materials onto the crow and thank them for cawing. Thus, like this, the celebration of crows is done on the first day.
The next day is called as the KukurTihar where the people worship dogs for the bravery and security they’ve been providing us as pets. The dogs have put tika with garlands and foods are given to the dogs of any breed. It is a way of thanking the dogs. Sweets and foods are put on the streets for other dogs to eat and the amount of love is shown to them.
Hence it is just a way of worshipping them and being thankful. The third day is called the Laxmi puja where the goddess Laxmi is worshipped along with cows. Yes, cows are worshipped as a holy animals in Nepal. The goddess Laxmi puja day is one of the important days in Tihar.
People make mandalas right in front of their doors and leave the door open the whole day and night so that goddess Laxmi would enter with a good fortune for the family. Goddess Laxmi is believed to bring good wealth and success to the home. Likewise, lord Ganesh is worshipped too.
It is believed that both goddess Laxmi and Lord Ganesh are meant to worship together because there is a myth where Laxmi gives all her properties to Ganesh considering her own son. They both are the symbol of success and wealth. Hence by worshipping both Laxmi and Ganesh, the day ends with a grand solitude.
Mandalas are decorated on the streets and people are lighting up the fireworks, the environment is very mesmerizing with lights everywhere. Sweets and feasts are organized and there is the meeting of all the families and there is an exchange of joy and happiness among each other. The fourth day is called the Govardhan puja where people worship oxen. They also worship their poop and take their pee as holy water and drink it.
Likewise, by performing the worship rituals, the day ends with immense gratitude towards the animal. The fifth day aka the last day of Tihar is called the Bhai tika. This is the most crucial day of all the days where Tihar is celebrated. On this day, sisters worship brothers. They perform various rituals to celebrate their brothers.
The sisters walk around their brothers by doing a 7 circle ceremony and pour the holy water as they are walking by and later put tika after the circling is over. Later, the brothers give their sisters gifts and thank them, and Dhog their sisters with a respect. Even the sisters feed them sweets and other foods while the puja ends.
The whole day is celebrated like this. It is a long process that’s why it takes a whole day. Hence, like this, the whole 5 days are celebrated with gatherings with families and friends. Girls put Mehendi on their hands. They all buy new accessories, clothes and other various things as an occasion to be celebrated. Thus, it is a wonderful time to come together as one and do things like a family.
Now moving onto the history of why is Tihar actually celebrated. Well, let me tell you :
The five-day festival of lights known as Tihar honors Yama, the god of death, meanwhile, the worship of Laxmi, the goddess of wealth dominates the festivities. Thus, it is celebrated for all kinds. The fireworks burning in the sky despite the Nepal government’s banned firecrackers. Tihar is also a form of the win of the good over the evil.
There is the worship of crows who is a determinant of the god Yama, the god of death. Despite all the grief, again people worship it for immense wealth and success in their life. Hence, it is the festival of lights that brings the worship of Laxmi, the goddess of wealth along with the worship of dogs, crows, and cows respectively.
It is a form of thanksgiving and respect to all creatures. It is a festival of joy and happiness is the key to it. All the Hindus and non-Hindus celebrate it. Hence, it a festival of lights after all.