Tihar- Festival of Lights

Tihar, popularly known as the “festival of lights”, is the second most celebrated Hindu festival of Nepal where Roadhouse Group has always taken great effort to make all our properties shine out during this festival by giving light to them throughout our branches within the valley and Pokhara as well. As all our properties are located in the hubs of the cities you can enjoy the great views of the lightened city mainly from the terrace of Hotel Roadhouse in Thamel, Mezze by Roadhouse in Durbarmarg where the entire King's way can be seen from above and the branch in Boudha where the view is breathtaking from the stupa area.

Located in the center of Kathmandu, a majority of tourists are seen enjoying the festival of lights while moving along the streets, small business houses, restaurants and hotels are decorated with Marigold Flowers, lights and Tihar Deals and Offers can also be seen during the time.

This festival as mentioned above is celebrated by all Nepali speaking Hindu communities in North East India, Myanmar and other parts of the world. It is also known as Yama Panchak or the five days of Yama, the Hindu God of Death. People living in the plains of Nepal call it Diwali or Deepawali. This is a lively, vibrant and colorful festival celebrated for 5 days by all Hindus and including Buddhists,Jains and Sikhs.

The festival begins with the worshipping of the crow, who people believe is the messenger of Yama, also known as Yamaraj. Women complete the puja ritual and offer the crows rice and sweets which are placed on the terrace, walls or on the roof or so that the birds can easily consume the offerings.

On the second day, man’s best friend the dog is worshipped with tika on the forehead and garland around the neck. Food that dogs love is also offered. Even street dogs will have tika, garland and a full stomach. The old saying "every dog has its day" holds true in Nepal

In the morning of the third day, cows are similarly worshipped. In the afternoon, you will see people busy decorating their businesses and homes with Marigold flowers and colourful lights. Women paint a 4 to 5" path, from the main entrance to the treasure room, with an auspicious mixture of cow dung and red clay. This auspicious welcome path is equivalent to the modern day "red carpet" that the Goddess of Wealth Laxmi is supposed to tread. Die hard traditionalists do the Laxmi puja strictly at moonless midnight

On the fourth morning, while some farming communities worship the oxen and other communities do puja on a heap of cow dung as Gobhardhan puja, thousands of Newas in Bhaktapur, Patan, Kirtipur and Kathmandu gather at their respective durbar squares to celebrate the Nepal Era. This year it falls on November 4 and the year is 1142. In the evening, a very unique body worship ceremony called “mha puja '' is held by all Newas for good health and prosperity. A lavish family feast brings the day to its end.

The fifth and the final day is known as “Kija puja” or “Bhai Tika”. Sisters worship and pray for good health and prosperity of their brothers. They gift various citrus fruits, fresh and dry, along with the very important garland made of makhmali flowers (globe amaranth) and raw cotton garland and a traditional feast. Brothers gift sisters money or clothes.

During both “mha puja” and ‘kija puja” , Newas sit behind beautifully decorated mandaps drawn on the floor with vermellon powder,corn flour, grains, cereals and flowers. Before the feast begins, Nepali fruits of the season, walnuts, chestnuts, peanuts, along with a garland and a long raw cotton garland is offered. This raw cotton garland is supposed to safeguard the wearer from evil spirits and poor health. After this the auspicious offering also known as “ kheyn sagon” consisting of a whole boiled egg, a fried dry fish, along with the potent aila is offered. After the receiver finishes eating this auspicious offering,he or she will put tika and offer money in return as a thanks giving.

A day after the Bhai Tika, the auspicious puja items of the Laxmi Puja are taken down and the final tika is applied, the Tihar festival formally comes to an end.