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Vibrant Tihar market
Shopping is an integral part of life. With the arrival of Tihar, one of the most awaited festivals in Nepal, one simply can’t refrain from shopping. This five-day long festival is also known as Deepawali or Yama Panchak. It began on Monday. The festival not only recognizes divinity but also animals and birds who contribute to the humankind.
The first day of the celebration, Kaag Puja is celebrated to recognize the contribution of crows, hence making them known as the ‘Messenger Bird’. ‘Kukur Puja’, the second day of Tihar is celebrating the loyalty of dogs. They are worshipped on this day. The third day is known as Laxmi Puja or Gai Puja. Goddess Laxmi is worshipped in the evening. Cow, believed to be the incarnation of the Goddess Herself is worshipped during morning. The fourth day is Govardhan Puja. The Newar community also celebrates Maha Puja and Nhudaya Bhintuna, their new year on this day. This day, Govardhan Puja is celebrated performing rituals after making a small hillock of Govardhan Parbat using cow dung. Newar community celebrates Maha Puja. Bhai Tika is the closing day of the entire festival. On this day, sisters perform rituals praying for their brother’s good health and long life.
To perform all these rituals, one definitely has to do shopping. Places like Asan, Basantapur, Bhotahiti, among others are flooded with vendors selling different types of decorative items along with fruits, nuts and flowers. These areas are swarmed with people shopping for the celebration. Tihar is also the festival of lights, color and music where houses are decorated attractively in order to welcome Goddess Laxmi. It is believed that the Goddess will bless households which are kept neat and clean, and the ones that is the most luminous as compared to others.