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Tihar festival begins from today

Crows pick the food offered by the devotes during Kaag Tihar at Chagal in the capital on Tuesday. October 17, 2017. PHOTO/SANJOG MANANDHAR

KATHMANDU:- Tihar, the second largest festival of Nepali Hindus is beginning from 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, regarded as messengers in Nepali society. The second day is Kukur Tihar- the day is observed worshipping dogs. The third day is Gai Tihar and Laxmi Puja worshipping cows and Laxmi, the goddess of wealth.
The fourth day of Tihar is known as Goru Puja – worship of oxen, while the fifth and the final day is Bhai Tika – the day when brothers receive Tika from their sisters.
However, people from the Newari community celebrate the fourth day of Yam Panchak as Maha Puja – worship of own soul. The auspicious hour for Bhai Tika this year is 11:37 am on November 16, according to the Nepal Calendar Fixation Committee.
Tihar is also known as the festival of lights. During the festival, people decorate their houses with colourful lights, flowers and oil lamps. They celebrate the festival eating various delicacies, including sweets and sel roti.
Playing deusi-bhailo and worshipping various animals and birds are significant aspects of this festival. However, the local authorities have prohibited playing of deusi-bhailo this year due to outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile the government has decided to give a public holiday on the occasion of Kija pooja on November 17. Earlier, the government had announced a three-day public holiday starting from Laxmi Puja to Bhai Tika from November 14 to 16.

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