KATHMANDU, Nov 15: Nepali Hindus across the country are observing Gai Puja or cow worship, Goru Puja or ox worship on Sunday on the fourth day of Yampanchak of Tihar festival.
Cow is worshipped because her milk, urine and dung are considered sacred in Hinduism, Ram Chandra Gautam, chairperson of the Nepal Calendar Determination Committee said. "She gives milk like a mother. Hence, people worship her," Gautam said.
The day today is also known as Gai Tihar because cow is worshipped. People The cow is garlanded and fed various delicacies. Govardhan Puja is also being observed today with the replicas of the Govardhan Mountain made out of the cow dung.
People prepare a mixture of the cow dung and ochre formed into a paste and apply on the courtyard of their homes and on the floors on this day. The rituals are linked to the Hindu God Sri Krishna who, according to the legend, lifted the Govardhan Mountain by his hand and protected the people of a place called Gokul from torrential rains caused by Indra, the God of rain. It is believed that the rain God was angered and thereby caused the heavy downpour.
Similarly, the Goru or ox is also worshipped today as it is a very useful animal in different agricultural works in Nepal which is a predominantly agricultural society.
Similarly, Mha Puja is celebrated on the fourth day of Tihar by people of Newar Community. It also falls on the Newari New Year which is based in the Newar calendar, Nepal Sambat. Mha Puja literally refers to self-worship, making offering to one’s body.