Nepal is a multicultural country, popular for religious tolerance and coexistence and is a haven for diverse cultures wherein people of 123 castes have lived for centuries. Nepal is an amphitheater or open museum of multiple cultures, religions and festivals where people can enjoy and experience different cultures and festivals throughout the year in different parts of the country. But most of the people of Nepal follow the Hindu religion, though the country is famous worldwide as the birthplace of Lord Buddha; founder of Buddhism. Among several festivals, Hindu people celebrate Tihar; the most popular festival in Nepal after Dashain.
Tihar; festival of lights that lasts for five days is celebrated with great euphoria and vibes throughout the country. Tihar also named as Deepawali that falls either in mid-October or mid-November, which is celebrated with devotion and honor. The festival is regarded as an occasion to strengthen the bond between brothers and sisters. Preparations for the festival at the home of every citizens of Nepal begins from one month before, as every member of the household is busy engaging on multiple tasks. Homes are decorated with colors, paintings, lights, candles, twinkling bulbs to make homes more attractive during the festival. The atmosphere of the market place and city is changed during Tihar. And you can hear the loud noise of patakha explosion during entire festival.
On the first day, crows are taken as God of messenger whereas second day named as Kukur Tihar is for special animal such as dogs where they are treated as God of savior who protect our homes throughout the year. Dogs are worshipped by putting tika made up of with rice and vermilion powder and garland and at last, food is served to the dogs. The third day named as Laxmi puja, it is an auspicious day as we can witness colorful decorations at the gate of every building to welcome the Goddess Laxmi; Goddess of wealth for good fortune on coming years. The last day, of the festival is Bhai Tika, which signifies the bond between brothers and sisters, where sisters put Saptarangi tika made from seven colors on the forehead of the brothers and garland wishing long lives to their brothers.