13 November 2020, Kathmandu
Kaag Tihar, the festival of crows, is being observed across the country today. Tihar festival, also known as Yam Panchak, is observed for five days.
Even though it started Thursday itself, Kaag Tihar is being obseved today, on the second day of Yam Panchak, by feeding crows, which are regarded as messengers in Nepali society.
According to the Nepal Calendar Fixation Committee, Kukur Tihar, the festival of dogs and Gai Tihar (Laxmi Puja) fall on the third day of Yam Panchak this year. Kukur Tihar will be observed in the morning and Gai, the goddess of wealth, Tihar (Laxmi Puja) in the evening on November 14.
The fourth day of Tihar is known as Goru Puja – worshipping 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 colorful 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.