Tihar, is a great festival of Nepali people, which is celebrated across the country by all Hindus as well as Buddhists with fanfare. Tihar or Deepawali, the festival of lights, signifies the unique relationship between brothers and sisters.
During the five day festival we worship crow (Kaj Puja), dog (Kukur Puja) and cow (Gai Tihar), which signifies our love for all the creatures living in our earth, spreading the message of universal brotherhood or Basudhaiva Kutumbakam. On the fourth day lies Govardhan Puja, which symbolizes lifting of Govardhan Hill by Lord Krishna to save the life of people of Dwarka from heavy rain during ancient period.
On the day Newars of Kathmandu worship the Self (Atma) which is also known as Mhapuja. In the fifth or final day of Tihar falls Bhai Tika. In fact, Bhai Tika is celebrated as a special relationship between brothers and sisters.
Trishna feels happy and very much excited as Deepawali, the festival of lights approaches. For her this is one of the most favourite festivals. She recalls her childhood, when her younger brother Buddhi pockets the money he was supposed to give her in exchange of sweets and fruits offered by her during Bhai Tika.
She is especially lured by decoration of the house with colourful lights and preparation of mouth watering sweets during Tihar. “Now my brother has grown up and became a matured person, who takes care of our family seriously,” remarks Trishna.
“Among us - three sisters - I feel very comfortable with my brother and he also shares everything with me,” says Trishna. “It is good to have consultations between brothers and sisters regarding matters of importance such as love affairs, household works or career,” opines Trishna.
Tihar is the occasion for strengthening the bond of relationship between brothers and sisters, says Dr Buddhi Gurung, a pediatrician by profession. For her, Buddhi is more like a best friend than a brother. Among the 5 days of Tihar, Bhai Tika holds special significance, says Dr. Buddhi, who is also the president of MERO BALYKAL. “I become emotional when my sister prays for my good health and long life while offering dry-fruits, sweets and fruits.”