Nepal is a land full of cultural diversity as people following different religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and other religions live together in harmony. The month of October – November sees a lot of tourists in Nepal because it is the main trekking season and today we are going to tell you one another good reason to travel Nepal in October – November.
The two great big festivals of the Hindus of Nepal, Dashain and Tihar (Deepawali) fall during the month of October – November. The first big festival Dashain is celebrated for 15 days and the second big festival Tihar (Deepawali) is celebrated for 5 days. Dashain falls between late September to mid October and Deepawali falls between late October to early November.
During last October, some of our volunteers got to witness the great Nepali festival of Tihar (Deepawali) and celebrate it in Nepali way. There were three Australian volunteers in Nepal working in an orphanage with 40 kids. The children of the orphanage celebrate the festival every year by visiting different houses and showing their dancing and singing talents in order to raise funds.
The 3rd, 4th and 5th days of Deepawali are the main days where children and youngsters go to different houses of their neighbors, friends or relatives to play Dheusi and Bhailo. Dheusi and Bhailo is the typical act where they sing the typical Dheusi and Bhailo songs and other Nepali songs. They dance with music and some people even play Nepali musical instruments like Madal and even western instruments like Guitar. They go to houses after houses and entertain the people living in the house. This is done because of the cultural reason and for fun. The people living in the house can also sing and dance and they exchange good wishes among each other. They can play Dheusi and Bhailo for a short time or it can go for hours as well. By the end of the Dheusi and Bhailo, It is a tradition that the people living in the house have to give some money to the people who came to the house to play Dheusi and Bhailo. The people who came to play Dheusi and Bhailo leave the house by giving blessings. This is also the festival when people get to play with firecrackers, play cards, meet distant relatives, and eat varieties of food, sing and dance. The festival brings everyone together and celebrates good time with family and friends. The joy of the festival drives everyone happy from children to elders.
Another big significance of the festival is that Hindu people worship goddess Laxmi (the goddess of wealth) by making every corner of the house bright. They light candles, oil lamp, and colorful lights and decorate the houses. Even the streets get decorated. This is why Tihar (Deepawali) is also called the festival of lights. In the 3rd day of Tihar, people worship cow which is holy and seen as the form of goddess Laxmi. In the 4th day, people worship bull. The 5th and the final day is Bhai tika or brothers and sisters day where the sisters put 7 colors tika on the forehead of the brothers, worship them with garland made of special flowers, give them sweets, fruits and different varieties of food to eat. In return the brothers have to give some money or present to the sisters.
During the festival of lights our volunteers who were in Nepal especially got to be a part of the festival and experience it from close. One of the volunteers, Lauren spent most of her time with the kids of the orphanage by giving them a helping hand in preparing many things needed for the festival celebrations. She made garlands, went with the children to different houses to play Dheusi Bhailo and made many Nepali brothers at the orphanage. We saw Lauren even got a Henna tattoo on her hand which the orphanage kids made for her. Nepalese ladies get Henna tattoo especially during festivals and different joyful occasions. So Tihar or Deepawali is the festival which you should not miss if you are planning to travel Nepal.