Tihar festival begins today, the first day of Yam Panchak

Kathmandu / Oct 25: Tihar, the second largest festival of Nepali Hindus started today.

Also known as Yam Panchak, the festival is observed for five days.

The first day of Yam Panchak is observed as Kaag Tihar by feeding crows. Today, Hindus offer foods to Kaag (crows), which are regarded as messengers in the Nepali society.

The second day is Kukur Tihar. Hindus worship dogs. The third day is Laxmi Pooja. On this day, people worship Laxmi, the goddess of wealth. People celebrate Laxmi Pooja with fanfare.

According to the chairperson of International Calendar Fixation Committee Professor Dr Madhav Bhattarai, Kukur Tihar and Laxmi Pooja have fallen on the same day on October 27.

The next day of Tihar is known as Goru Pooja — worship of oxen. According to Bhattarai, Goru Pooja and Gai Pooja also fall on the same day on October 28.

The final day is Bhai Tika — the day when brothers receive Tika from their sisters. Govardhan Pooja will be also celebrating on the day of Bhaitika, according to Nepal Calendar Fixation Committee.

The auspicious time for receiving and offering Bhai Tika this year is 11:55 am on October 29, according to the Nepal Calendar Fixation Committee.

Meanwhile, people from the Newari community celebrate the fourth day of Yam Panchak as Maha Pooja — worship of own soul.

Tihar is known as the festival of lights. During the festival, people decorate their houses with colorful lights, flowers and oil lamps. They celebrate the festival eating various delicacies, including sweets and Sel roti.

Playing Deusi-bhailo is one of the significant aspects of this festival. The government has announced a three-day public holiday starting from Laxmi Pooja to Bhai Tika from October 26 to 29.

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