Tihar – Dipawali (दीपावली) | Essay On Tihar

Tihar, Bhai Tika, Dipawali, Yamapanchak, Diwali, Laxmi puja are often used interchangeably to mean Tihar. The essence of Tihar lies in the traditional way of celebration and ancient stories that compels us to believe and continue the amazing culture of celebration. Tihar is celebrated for five days with a great significance of each day. Dipawali signifies victory of light over darkness, good over evil,  knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair.

Based on legends the festival is celebrated remembering Yamuna’s (a sister) dedication and prayer to protect her brother from the God of death, Yamaraj. To prevent Yamaraj from taking her brother’s life, she performed a five-day ritual. The very first day she worshiped crow, the messenger of Yamaraj, on the second-day “dog”, the carrier of Yamaraj. On the third day, she worshipped Goddess Laxmi for the prosperity of the family along with cow as a representation of Goddess. The next day she prepared a large variety of dishes to offer to Yamaraj as a symbol of appreciation Govardhana puja which is also known as Annakut (Mountain of food). And the final day is Bhai Tika, Yamuna worshipped and fasted for her brother.

She prepared garland of Glove Amaranth flower (commonly known as Makhamali phool and Supari phool), A flower that never wears out, along with oil, Dubo (evergreen perennial green grass), Walnut Tika for the protection and most importantly Saptarangi Tika (Pigments of 7 different colors). She Broke Walnut before the ritual to constrict external bodies and bad omen from entering the house. She performed and created the ritual with much dedication and asked Yamaraj not to take her brother’s life until the garland of Makhamali wears out. By her efforts, Yamaraj was so impressed that he let her brother live a peaceful life. She set an example of true love. and the same tradition continues even today.

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