Arriving back in Nepal last Sunday I was greeted with blue sky's, sunshine, clean air (for KTM) and of course happy smiling kids, some recently back from visiting their families & communities for the Dashain holidays.
There was the feeling of excitement as everyone was preparing for Tihar. I had the opportunity to visit New Road with my friends as they purchased exquisite clay oil burners, fruits, gold, silver & flowers, and even witnessing the Nepal police brass band playing Titanic in Durbur Square was rather unique.
So what is Tihar? ....I will try to keep it short & sweet.
Tihar is one of the most celebrated festivals after Dashain in Nepal. it is a five day festival celebrated in late Autumn and shows reverence to not just humans and gods but also animals such as the crow, dog, cow (Laxmi - Cow or Goddess or wealth) & ox.
The second day of Tihar, resident dog Kanchhi was given a Pooja and proudly modelled her garland and Tikka. Many dogs and even street dogs are given a special blessing as dogs are considered a loyal friend and protector.
The third day of Tihar the Umbrella children visit the apartment block where I stay and we were all entertained with much singing and dancing. It is a long tradition that the children sing traditional songs and ask for money and foods. A tray with money, fruit, sweets and rice was offered to the children and I was told they collected 100npr over the evening singing and dancing their way around Kimdol.
The city of Kathmandu is adorned with fairy lights, the shops and homes are all cleaned with many candles burning and small designs of footsteps are painted from the main entrance to invite Laxmi (goddess of wealth) into their homes & businesses.
Today is the last day of Tihar and it is Bhai Tika (brother tika). Today sisters put 'Tika of five colours' on the forehead of her brothers to ensure long life and prosperity.
Life should be as normal tomorrow with children at school, power loading back on schedule and me having to start working through the list of TUFA jobs I have come here to do.
Happy Tihar to all our supporters and friends in Australia - Linda