Caroline Letrange

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NEPAL: Tihar Festival

Par Caroline Letrange :: 18/06/2007 à 1:52 :: Tips & Everyday life

Tihar, the festival of the Lights!!
The second celebrates the most celebrated in Nepal, after Dashain, during 5 days, it is the celebration in the world of deaths. All the fronts of stores, restaurants, houses, hotels... are covered with multicoloured garlands of lights, flowers and candles.

With the origin it is a Hindu festival but its rites are followed by other religions. This festival is dedicated primarily to Laxmi, the goddess of the richness and woman of Vishnou God. At each day is dependent a specific ritual:

- 1st day : Celebration of the worship of the corbel, messenger of Yama, lord of the underground world, related to the world of died in Indian mythology. Offerings with are thus proposed early the morning to satisfy the messenger of the god and to move away death from each house. It is Kukhur Tihar.

- 2nd day : Celebration of the worship of the dog, guard of the door of darkness and the house of Yama. The dogs receive red Tika on the face and a guilande of eyelets around the neck. All the dogs, even more the rachitics, are affublés of these garlands. It is also because, in the various reincarnations, the life is judicious to start with that of the monkey and to end in that of the dog. It is Gaï Tihar.

- 3rd day : Celebration of the worship to the Laxmi goddess, feeder mother (thanks to her milk), and with the animal which incarnates it, the cow. All the cows thus receive garlands of flowers and a string for, the day of death, to lead the late one without encumber. In the houses of the furnace bridges are drawn up and various offerings (money, incense, food...) are offered to the goddess. In front of the houses, ways are traced and decorated small candles and petals of flowers to guide the goddess towards the furnace bridge at the time of its arrival so that it brings the richness. The come evening, it overlaps an owl to make the turn of the world and to see how the men the revere.

From the 3rd day, small groups of children or teenagers saunter in the streets, of houses in houses or stores in stores in Kathmandou, and sing the rengaine of Tihar, small judicious repetitive verses to deliver good the auspices with the occupant of the place, and wait in return of small gifts or a little money.

- ême day : Celebration of the worship of the buffalo, the animal more used in the campaigns. Agriculture being the dominating activity in Nepal, this day makes it possible to venerate this essential animal with the agricultural work. The buffalo being also the "vehicle" of Khrisna (each god having a vehicle, i.e. means of transport to move), its worship is thus celebrated and, this particular day, its excrements are regarded as crowned. Pujas are then made on all the farm equipment to attract good the auspices. It is Mha puja, the puja for oneself which commemorates the beginning of the year at Newar, the greatest ethical group in Nepal.

- ëme day : Ritual Puja which sisters towards their brothers. It is the moment more awaited by all the families. Thus the sisters mark a circle around the brothers sitting in front of them, pours a little oil to them on the hair then affixes to them on their face the tika of 7 colors and a chain of fresh flowers passes to them. In return, the brothers their make offerings of delicacies and offer a little money. This ritual is carried out in reference to the legend which tells the visit of Yama to his/her Yamouna sister who accomodated it with a tika on the face. It is Bhai tika.

Tuesday October 24 is the great day marking the end of Tihar. For a few days, Kathmandou has been illuminated of 1000 colors, candles and decorated garlands of flowers. The children pass from stores in stores, of the impromptu dances are held in the échopes which remain open until late. Detonators claquent a good part of the day and good mood is of setting during this festival. Kathamndou empties a little its buildings which benefit from this festival to turn over in their families to celebrate Bhai Tika all together. The departures towards the countryside are numerous and much of stores will remain closed all the day of Tuesday.

To begin the festivities, a giant concert of music techno was organized in Trivedi Marg (opposite Fire and Ice; the mountaineers in search of pizza pies after their expés will be about what I speak). All the street was invested by a good part of Nepalese youth and by some tourists. Until late in the night, of the travelling merchants prepared of Momos

Merry environment. Local artists and DJ occurred on scene by mixing Nepalese music, quite Western fusion and techno: a true clashing cocktail and very appreciated. A very good evening full with good mood!

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