Origin and History of Diwali in Nepal
Although there are many myths linked with the grand Diwali or Tihar celebrations, the most popular story associated with Tihar in Nepal is the story of a King. According to the legend the king was told by the astrologer that a snake would bite him and take away his life. As a solution the priest told him to sleep with the lamps lit around his bed and all around his palace on the day of Laxmi Puja. When the snake came to bite him, it was convinced by Goddess Laxmi and left the king unharmed. Instead it took him to Yama Raj, the Lord of death. Yama Raj came to know about the Goddess Laxmi’s blessings on the king and and presented him a life again. It is believed that from then onwards Tihar is widely celebrated by lighting lamps and by doing Laxmi Puja, to welcome happiness and prosperity into ones life.
Local name: Tihar
Ways to celebrate Tihar in Nepal
Diwali, the festival of light is celebrated with passion and cheerfulness. The entire country wears a festive look during all the five festive days. Houses and shops are decorated with the traditional lamps and colorful electric lights. Nepali Hindus enjoy the celebration with family and friends by exchanging gifts and sweets. In the five long days of celebration, the first day is dedicated to cows. On this day people feed cows with tasty foods as they believe that Goddess Laxmi descends on the cows. Similarly the second day is dedicated to dogs. On third day the grand Laxmi Puja is performed by offering special food to the Goddess and as a mark of merriment crackers are burned on this day. On fourth day people do special Puja to Lord Yama to seek his blessings for long life. Finally on the fifth day Bhai Dooj is celebrated for the well-being of brothers(fandootime)