Today marks the beginning of Tihar, the festival of lights, celebrated with various rituals and festivities in Nepal. Tihar is celebrated for five days. Starting with Kaag Tihar, where crows are honored as messengers, the day also signifies the initiation of Yamadip donations, believed to ward off tortures by Yamaraj, the lord of hell and death.
Dhanwantari Jayanti is also observed today, where people seek blessings from Lord Dhanwantari for the good health and well-being.
Kukur Tihar, dedicated to worshipping dogs, falls on the second day. It coincides with Laxmi Puja this year due to a shift in dates. Laxmi Puja, the worship of the goddess of wealth and prosperity, will take place tomorrow. Devotees celebrate Narak Chaturdashi on the same day with holy dips in rivers and ponds at sunrise, followed by lighting Yamadeep to symbolize dispelling darkness.
Gai Puja, Goru Puja, Haltihar, Gobardhan Puja, Bali Puja, and Maha Puja are scheduled for the following days, leading up to Bhai Tika on Wednesday this year.
The fourth day of Tihar is observed by the Newari community as Maha Puja, a ceremony dedicated to the worship of one’s own soul.
The auspicious time for Bhai Tika is set at 10:51AM, but celebrations can continue throughout the day until evening according to the Nepal Calendar Determination Committee.