Tihar: The festival of light is celebrated in the month of October 28 to 01 November ,two weeks after Bada Dashain for five days .Laxmi,the consort of Vishnu and the goddess of wealth and good fortune is reversed during this festival.Thai featival is observed with gaiety and joy.Every house is washed,cleaned and decorated.People feel relaxed and happy and wear the best clothes .The near and dear ones of the family meet one another and those who are far from home return to unite with their kith and kin.This festival is also called Yama Panchak. A homage is paid to Yama ,the god of death.Entire cities ,towns and villages are lit up beautiful illuminations in the evening for five days .Varieties of food including sweets of different kinds are prepared.
The first day of the festival is known as Kaag Tihar or “the day of the crow.”The crow is honoured on this day as the winged messenger of Yama and the Hindu underworld.The crow is fed with dishes of good food and grains.
The second days is a day of the dogs.The dog is regarded as a gate-keeper of Yama and as a vehicle of the powerful and dreadful god,Bhairab.The veneration of dog on this day is considered the best way to allow an easier passage to the kingdom of Yama after .All dogs are garlanded with flower in their necks and given rich foods and red mark on their forhead.
The third day is known as Laxmi Puja.this is a day of the cow which is greatly revered and respected in Hindusim.the afternoon and evening of this day are consecrsted to Laxmi ,the goddess of wealth.A lighted pathway is prepared from the main entrance of the house to illuminate the way for the visiting goddess of wealth right upto the proper room where worship is offered.the mark of her footprint is made as if the goddess had entered each and every room of the house.
The fourth day of the festival is named as Goverdhan Puja.This is related to Krishna who protected cowherds,cattle and farms from rain and excessive flood by providing them with shelter beneath Govardhan mountain which is raised with his little fingers.The bullock is also worship as a vehicle of Lord Shiva in Hindu religion.
For the Newar community of Tihar culminate on the fifth day which is the day for brothers and sisters and is popularly known as ‘Bhai Tika’.Every sister worships her brothers on this occasion .The brothers sits down to receive Tika from the sisters .Yama ,the god of death is evoked by the sisters .After this ,a circle is made around the seat of the brother with mustard oil and water to prevent evil spirits from causing him harm at the auspicious moment of the Tika which is given him for his longevity and good health.The brother is then given a multi-coloured tika on his forehead and worshipped with flowers and offerings .After this,the brother gives Tika to his sisters .Many kinds of sweets ,fruits and dried fruits are presented to the brother who offers his sisters cash in return.All the family members rejoice and celebrate the occasion with a joyful feast.