Friday, November 13, 2015

Tihar: Gai Tihar and Laxmi Puja

The third day of Tihar is called Gai Tihar (cow worship) and Laxmi Puja (Laxmi blessing - Laxmi is the god of wealth and prosperity). Cows are given red tikkas on their foreheads and adorned with marigold garlands. The god, Laxmi, is invited into homes by creating beautiful, colorful rangolis from vibrant powders in a pattern at the entry to the, lit with candles, and a trail of candles lead Laxmi into the home to bring prosperity. Friends are in town, so we went down to Ason Market in the evening and walked up towards Thamel. Strings of lights were hung across the roads, mandalas were glowing in candle light, and children ran from door to door singing traditional songs and asking for change (it's like a combination of trick-or-treating, Christmas with all the lights, and New Years with all the fireworks).

Powders displayed for buyers to decorate their rangoli
A seller presents his colored powdered
A selection of colored powdered for Laxmi puja
A sister and brother design and decorate their home's rangoli
The housekeepers at our compound made a rangoli for our home
Beads for sale in Patan Durbar Square
Beads for the celebration of Tihar
A selection of decorative jewelry hangs for sale in Patan
Candles await prayers for Tihar
A worshiper lights candles, saying a pray with each
Women offer candles to worshipers at Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu
Marigolds are offered to gods for Tihar at Boudanath Stupa
Construction at Boudanath Stupa after the April 25th earthquake. A photograph of the original stupa sits in the lower left
Shoppers in Ason Market buy goods for Tihar celebrations
Women light candles and offer prayers to gods for Tihar
Women light candles for gods during Tihar
A rangoli leads the way for Laxmi to enter homes and shops to bring prosperity

1 comment:

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