Tag Archives: tihar

Laxmi Puja

The day of Laxmi Puja holds always brings special memories. It is the third day of hindu festival Tihar. On this day, hindu goddess of wealth Laxmi is worshipped. For basic info about the festival Tihar, please read this post.

Lately I’ve been busy with work and other stuffs and hence I hadn’t made any special preparations for Tihar. So on the day of Laxmi Puja, I decided to take a day off to prepare for the puja and celebrate Tihar. As I informed A that I wanted to take a day off so that I could make puja preparations, A decided to take a day off as well :). Unlike other non-working day, on the day of Laxmi puja, we got up early. We were invited by our Indian friends P and AC for the evening at their place for a potluck and puja and since Laxmi puja is performed in the evening after the sunset, this meant we had to start our puja exactly at sunset. So the day started by cleaning the house. Since the maid had cleaned the just a day before, this didn’t take much time :). After this, A prepared the dough for puri(deep fried flat bread). Since it is auspicious to buy metal on this day, A went to the market to buy his new metal gadget while I stayed back and made preparations.

Puja preparations by me and A 🙂

For the prasad(offering to God), we made puri, malpuwa and home made rasbari. A helped me to fry the puris and malpuwas :). By this time, it was almost evening, so we took bath and got dressed to perform puja. During puja, I usually put on traditional dress “Kurta” but this year I didn’t have any :(. We started puja lighting diyo and making way for Goddess Laxmi to enter our house. I used marigold flower instead of making traditional Laxmi ko paila. Then we lit diyos to show the way to Goddess Laxmi. Then puja started by first bathing the idols and pictures of god and goddesses. Then we put red tika with rice grains on the forehead of idols, then we offered flowers and prasad that we prepared earlier during the day. After this, we lighted dhup batti(incense sticks), rang the worship bells and completed the puja by applying tika to each other. Once the puja was over, it was time for dinner and we hungry too. So we had some prasad, packed some for friends and went to our friends’ place.

Laxmi Paila, with marigold flowers.

This friend of ours is very religious as well and I love attending puja at her house. As we reached there, we lighted diyos around the beautiful flower decoration(rangoli) she had made. Then we went to her puja room and performed puja at her house too. Puja at her house was longer than ours as she had books with hindu chants and we chanted prayers for goddess Laxmi. After that we performed Ganesh arati and finished the puja. After puja, we gathered in her living room and had dinner. It is so much better to be surrounded by friends and family during festivals :). The tihar party was not over yet. After dinner, we even lit some fire crackers!!

Puja at P and AC’s place

This years Laxmi puja brought me and A even closer. We did everything together and I feel very lucky to have a partner like A :).

Firecrackers!!!!!

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Tihar

As I have mentioned in my earlier posts Dashain is the most important festival for Nepalese, the second most important festival for us is Tihar or Deepawali. While Dashain is all about Goat meat food wise, Tihar is about home made Nepali sweet dishes such a Sell Roti, Anarasha, Fini, Malpua and so on.

Tihar is a five day extravaganza with each day holding some religious significance. Tihar starts with “Kaag Puja” worshipping the crow. Crow is considered as the messenger of hindu God Yamaraj. On Kaag tihar, we offer food and puja to crow on a plate made of leaves which is called tapari. This tapari is usually put on the terrace so that the crow will be able to eat the food offered to it.

Kaag Puja

The second day is “Kukur Puja”, worshipping the Dog as an avatar of hindu God Bhairab and as Yamaraj’s gate keeper. On this day we offer puja and good food for the dog in our house and if we do not have a dog we offer puja to stray dogs.

A has this picture as his gtalk image right now 🙂

The third day is the most significant day and we offer puja to hindu goddess of wealth Laxmi. This day is also called as Deepawali or Laxmi Puja. On this day, we clean our house and decorate it with marigold flowers to welcome the “goddess of wealth” in our house and bless us with prosperity throughout the year. Laxmi puja is my favourite day. On this day I make rangoli, “laxmi ko paila”(footsteps of goddess Laxmi), and light “diyo”(oil lamps) all over the house. After this we perform puja and eat sweets.

This years’ puja in my room 🙂

The fourth day is “Goverdhan Puja” for Bahuns and Chettris and Mha puja for Newars. Goverdhan puja is done by making a small heap of cow dung and offering puja to it. Goverdhan literally translates to Gover=cow dung and dhan=wealth, which means cow dung is equivalent to wealth as it makes the soil fertile. This is basically to show respect to the cattles who give us milk, plough our land and make our land fertile. Even though my Mom is a Newar, I don’t know much about Mha puja other than the fact that is a puja of the self done to purify and respect god within us.

The final day is Bhai Tika, which is today. In Nepali bhai means brother so it can be called brother’s day. On this day we perform puja on our brothers and pray for their long life. This is also my favourite day since my brother spoils me with gifts on this day. Its been three years since I celebrated Bhai tika with my brother, so I’m missing him a lot today :(.

This is a brief description of 5 days of Tihar. In my next post, I will talk about my this years’ Laxmi Puja in detail.

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