My camera has deserted me, so I created a little video of Tihar images and sounds from my laptop's webcam. Here it is.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
I really like Tihar because it reminds me of Christmas more than any other Nepali holiday. It was a five-day holiday at the beginning of November. There is a day for worshipping crows, one for dogs, one for cows, and one for brothers. People paint pathways of red mud all throughout their house and walkways and light candles along them to encourage Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth, to visit their home. There are fireworks and people string up colored lights and children go door to door singing Tihar songs in exchange for money. This caroling 'game' is called Baili Ram on one day and Diosi Re on another; traditionally one day was for girls and the other for boys. On the last day there is a large puja ceremony in which brothers are given ritual protection by their sisters: an oil ring is drawn around them, oil is placed on their head and in their ears, and they are given a special tikka consisting of a thin yellow line with seven different colored dots running down it. The brothers give the same tikka to their sisters, and plates of nuts and fruits and candy are exchanged for money.