Writer: Ankit Koirala
Couple of weeks after the “heavyweight” festival of Dashain is over there comes another festival lying in the same category – Tihar. Perhaps it is okay to ascribe the word “heavyweight” to Dashain because the way people gorge themselves with meat in this festival being heavy in weight is natural consequence. Now as I think about it I believe our ancestor arranged Tihar to provide us with physical exertion we deserve after celebration of Dashain. Oh Durga Mata, Tihar is really exhausting festival if we do everything the way the tradition dictates. However, our Non-Nepalese Hindu friends might dissent with me as most of Hindus outside Nepal and mainly in India celebrate Diwali (which seems more fun than work) resembles Tihar but Tihar is much more than Lights and fireworks.
Tihar kicks off in perhaps the strangest way possible honoring CROWS. Yes Crows but it makes sense if we think about it. Crows helps to maintain our environment clean by feeding on waste and also warn us about incoming guests. No wonder crows are scared birds for us. And how do we honor crows? By putting food on small plates so basically it’s more of a party for crows in their honor.
Second day of Tihar is the Tihar for our best friends. No not our human best friends but dogs and we call this Kukur Tihar. We honor dogs and worship them with Tika and Mala. Foreigners finds this day very fascinating and we can see many posts on social media about the day but I think Kaag Tihar is cooler. Anyways, it not hard to conceive the reason we worship dog; they protect our homes and our souls from loneliness.
So moving on to third day is the most significant day of the Tihar – Laxmi Puja – we worship goddess Laxmi (Goddess of wealth and prosperity). This is also the day of lights. Every home is decorated with scintillating oil lamps and lights. However, before decorating home we have to go through this simple work called house cleaning and now the action begins. We clean every nook and corner of our home even I have to clean my room which would have remained untouched otherwise and fortunately every while and then I find some old photographs and lost pen so it is not like that I hate it entirely. So much work and then at auspicious moment we start worshiping Laxmi with Pista(Pistachios) and kaju(Cashews). Actually there are a lot of things involved during Puja but these two things are the only things I can recall (I seriously don’t know why).
The day of Laxmi Puja is special for another reason as well. In this day Girls play Bhailo. Nowadays we are actuated by the gender equality and hence we see boys playing Bhailo as well. Basically Bhailo is a group of people coming to your house playing and dancing and you are supposed to bid them goodbye with Cash and Sell Roti. You can think them as a mobile club and they are turning into a full-fledged club with music systems and bands. Traditionally Bhailo players called Bhailini had to sing songs related with the Bhailo and dance in traditional way. However, it couldn’t remain uninfluenced by modernization. So people come with big speakers and dance wildly and if they are considerate enough they might sing you traditional Bhailo song. If you’re member of the house not Bhailo group then you can enjoy dancing with them or stand with awkward smile if you’re shy like me. Now talking about reasons to play Bhailo you might be tempted to think we play Bhailo for the merriment of it. You are wrong! We play Bhailo because Bali Raja(King Bali) ordained us to play. Also, if you’re thinking Bhailo is fun and you can play the entire day at one place you’re wrong again Bhailo group have to visit all 14 Anchal(Zone) and 75 Jilla(District) so they are always in hurry. Children’s Bhailo group are more in hurry than adult’s Bhailo group and if you keep them waiting for money be ready for Cycle ko Ghanti chito garnus Aunty.
The next day is same as Laxmi Puja day except we play Deusi in this day. To keep it short you can say Deusi is same as Bhailo but Deusi is played by boys. Yes, you guessed it right nowadays girl also play Deusi – you know gender equality.
The last day of Tihar is Bhai Tika. So along with crows and dogs brothers also have their place in Tihar. In this day sisters worship their brothers and we brothers receive blessings and Pista(Pistachios) and kaju(Cashews) along with various items(Masala).Again there are lot of things Involved but I can’t remember. Brothers’ offer cash to their sister in return and obviously they accept it and we touch their feet with our forehead.
So that’s all about the five days of Tihar. We can see that Tihar is actually the festival to show gratitude to our loved ones and Animals. If we refer to Hindu belief God Vishnu in deference to king Bali’s devotion towards the God let him rule all three worlds-heaven, earth, and the underworld for five days during each year. Whatever the belief we should respect our culture and celebrate the festival without discounting the essence of it.
Question and Answer with Ankit
1. Tell us more about you.
I am going to be 23 this December and I have completed my undergraduate in “Electronics and Communication Engineering”. I love reading, especially scientific and other evocative literature.
2. What was your thought when you apply to Wordism competition?
It had been a long time since I had expressed myself through writing. When I got to know about the Wordism competition I could not help writing immediately on the topic to hone my rusty writing skill.
3. What are your dreams and aspiration?
I aspire to contribute something to the society,be it something trivial, that would outlive myself.
4. Anything you want to say who is reading this!
If you are reading I am sure you are interested in writing. I would highly suggest you to start writing and project your views and ideas on paper without hesitation
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