Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Five days of Tihar

Tihar is a major Hindu festival . Tihar means the festival of lights. This holiday is important because it shows the special relationship between men and animals. I spent five days observing this holiday. I did not take any pictures of the first day which was Kag Puja which is the worship of crows.

The second day is Kukur Puja, the worship of dogs(the messenger for the god of death) they place garland of flowers and feed specially prepared food to the dog.

Day 3 Gai Puja and Laxmi Puja
In the morning they worship cows which is the holiest animal to Hindus. The cow represents mothers. They prepare garlands, tika, and fruits to the cow.

In the evening is the worship of Laxmi which is the goddess of wealth. This goddess is to be believed to enter the brightest house and give her blessing.

Day 4 is Gobhardan Puja and Maha Puja.
Again, sorry I did not take a picture of this but it's a day of worshiping Ox.

Day 5 Bhai Tika
Bhai means younger brother. This day is where sisters put tikas on the forehead of their brothers. and this will help to ensure long life and thank the brothers for their protection. In return the brothers gives sisters money or gifts. A special garland is made and symbolizing the sister's prayer of her brothers long life.

Lastly, Deusi and Bhailo is popular among the young people. These groups goes around to each house to sing and dance. In return we gave them money, fruit, rice and bread. (Selroti is a special type of bread make of rice flour and sugar.) This picture is me joining with Manisha's brother's school group. They had walked 3 hours from their village. Their school is raising money to add 9th grade to their school.

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