Kathmandu, Nov 2: Tihar, the second biggest festival of Nepali Hindus, is beginning 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 final day is Bhai Tika - the day when brothers receive Tika from their sisters.
However, both Kaag Tihar and Kukur Tihar fall on the same day, tomorrow (Wednesday), according to Calendar Determination Committee Chair, Prof Shree Krishna Adhikari. "Although yamadipana falls on Tuesday (today), the Kaag Tihar is celebrated tomorrow as per lunar calendar this year," Adhikari said, adding the time for Kaag Tihar is only till 7:17 am then the time begins for Kukur Tihar.
People from the Newari community celebrate the fourth day of Yam Panchak as Mha Puja - worship of their own soul.
The auspicious hour for Bhai Tika this year is 11:02 am Saturday (November 6), he added.
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 by eating various delicacies, including sweets and sel roti.
Organizing deusi-bhailo and worshipping various animals and birds are significant aspects of this festival.