Tihar, the festival of lights is one of the most dazzling of all Hindu festivals. The five-day festival is considered to be of great importance as it shows reverence to not just the humans and the Gods, but also to the animals like crow and dog, who maintain an intense relationship with the humans. During the festival all the houses in the city and villages are decorated with lit oil lamps. Thus during the night the entire village and city looks like a sparkling diamond. This festival is celebrated in five days starting from the thirteenth day of the waning moon in October. We also refer to Tihar as ‘Yama Panchak’ which literally means ‘the five days of the underworld lord’. We also worship ‘yamaraj’ in different forms in these five days. In other words this festival is meant for life and prosperity.
Day 1 (29th Oct): Kathmandu Arrival - 1300m
Arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport at Kathmandu and meet, assist and transfer to the hotel by our representative. Welcome drinks on arrival and briefing of tour program by one of our representative from the company.
Day 2 (30th Oct): Laxmi Puja Celebration in Kathmandu (B)
Today is the most important day of the festival. It is called ‘Laxmi puja’, the day when we worship goddess of wealth. On this day, early in the morning the cow is worshipped. Tika is put on her head and a garland around her neck then she feasts with delicious food. A cow also symbolizes wealth and she is the most holy animal for Hindus. Cow is the national animal of Nepal.
In the evening goddess laxmi is worshipped. Days before the house are cleansed and decorated. For goddess likes clean and tidy places. In the evening a small portion of the house outside the main door is painted red with red mud and an oil lamp is lit on it. A pathway is made from here to the place where the old money box and valuables are kept in the house that is the puja room. All the Nepalese have a box where from generation to generation money is put every year worshipping goddess laxmi. This money is never used unless extreme emergency. The entire house is decorated with lit oil lamps in every doors and windows. Laxmi, goddess of wealth is worshipped performing the traditional rituals and when the rituals are over then gambling in the house starts. This is a festival when gambling is not illegal. On this day throughout the evening groups of girls come to houses singing song of praise of the goddess and they are taken as guests and given gifts. This day the entire place is lively throughout the night.
Today we do sightseeing tour around some heritage sites in Kathamndu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple and Boudhanath Temple. Enjoy the evening scrolling around the city and visit local family.
Day 3 (31st Oct): Gobhardan and Mha Puja Celebration (B)
The fourth day is bit different. Today the things you worship depend on your specific cultural background. Normally most of the people perform ‘Guru puja’, ox worshipping. The ox is worshipped with tika, garland and then a delicious meal is fed to it.
On the other hand people who follow lord Krishna perform ‘Gobhardan puja’. These people build a small hill made out of cowdung and put some grass on it then do puja on it. This puja symbolizes the act of lord Krishna when he lifted the gobhardan hill and saved millions of people and cows from floodwater.
In this day Newar community perform ‘Mha puja’ which literally means worshipping yourself. The newar community people are worshipping life by doing puja on them. On this very day the newar New Year also starts.
Today we take a visit to Krishna Temple at Patan. Evening enjoy celebrating Mha Puja with newar community.
Day 4 (1st Nov): Bhai Tika Celebration (B)
The fifth and last day of Tihar is called Bhai Tika and is observed by sisters applying tika to the foreheads of their brothers to ensure long life and thank them for the protection they provide.
In this day the floor was purified by sprinkling water on it and make Mandaps in front of a row of seats on the floor where brother are sitted and sister perform puja. Sister fed their brother a delicious food and fruits and in returns brother give gift to their sisters.
It is believed that this tradition was started by Yama (the God of death) and his sister Yamuna because of their affection for each other.The main theme behind bhai tika is the sisters praying for their brother’s long life from Yama Raj, god of the underworld.
Visit local family to celebrate and observe the last day of Tihar called Bhai Tika.
Day 5 (2nd Nov): Departure (B)
Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight a representative from Aarya Village Travel will transfer you to the airport for final departure to your home country.