By A Staff Reporter Kathmand, Nov. 12: The government Wednesday decided to give a public holiday on Tuesday, November 17 as the Newars are marking Bhai Tika on this day. According to Joint Secretary and spokesperson at the Ministry of Home Affairs Chakra Bahadur Budha, the decision to grant public holiday on the occasion of Kija Puja (Bhai Tika day for Newar community) was taken by the meeting of the Council of Ministers held on November 9. The decision will come into effect across the country.
A dispute has been over the date of this year's Tihar festival between the followers of the two separate calendars of Bikram Sambat and Nepal Sambat. The Nepal Panchang Committee has fixed the Kukur Tihar in the morning and Laxmi Puja in the evening on November 14, cow/ox worship and Maha Puja (worshiping one’s own body) in the Newar Community on November 15. Except for the people of the Newar community, others are going to mark Bhai Tika, the main day of Tihar festival, on November 16. But the Newar community is going to mark Bhai Tika only on November 17. Also, the Newar community has said that they will not perform Laxmi Puja on the day of Narak Chaturdashi which falls on November 14. The Community has said that they will mark Laxmi Puja on November 15 and Nepal Sambat (New Year of the community) on November 16.