Tihar or Diwali


Tihar brings the worship of Laxmi, Goddess of Wealth; and to the Newars - day to worship one’s own body or self. Also worshipped in turn are the lowly dog and ill-omened crow, as well as the ever sacred cow, the family money box and the brothers of every home.

Through all five nights, especially during Laxmi Puja, every other home, temple and building is graced by rows of lights-the traditional Nepalese lamp of twisted cotton wick in a small clay bowl filled with mustard oil. In these more modern times rows of candles and electric ones are also seen lighting the houses like a magnificent array of lights spilling splendor and unparalleled beauty into the streets. The streets literally light up to this festival, for every house and building, no matter how small or big, is lighted to its full capacity. Such a splendid sight to see! And that too not for vain - for Nepalese people believe that the Goddess of Laxmi enters the house that is beautifully decorated and lighted. Thus friendly ‘rivalry’ between neighbors results into the open exhibition of art, often a Rangoli of colors, that is unparallel anywhere. This eagerness is all to please Laxmi, the goddess of Wealth.

Tihar, the greatest of all festivals after Dashain, concludes on the fifth day when every boy and man in Nepal must be worshipped by his sisters and receive their blessings, thus assuring prosperity for the year to come and also a healthy and long life.
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