after the dashain festival the next one is coming up: tihar / the festival of lights. it lasts five days, starting today. everyday someone else is honored; today it is the birds, tomorrow it’ll be the dogs and on sunday the cows as well as the goddess of prosperity and well-being, on monday the oxen and tuesday is the day of brothers and sisters.
all the houses and shops started to decorated their buildings with lights and candles.
today dogs are honored which i think is awesome as even the dogs on the street get tika, a marigold chain and special food.
i made some lanterns with the children to hang them on the rooftop 🙂
today we made nepali bread. it basically consists of flour, sugar, baking soda, water and butter. then you take about a handful of the dough and put it in a pan with a lot of fat; so it is actually fried like a doughnut and looks similar to one as well 😉 you can eat it pure or with pickles.
we also made some marigold chains 🙂
this day most of the people drew mandalas in front of their houses as well as a way connecting the mandala and their door. this way is decorated with flowers and candles; it is supposed to welcome and lead the goddess of prosperity and well-being into their home.
in the evening the children strolled through the streets and sung and danced for the inhabitants of some houses in order to get some sweets and money. the people here are VERY generous!
on our way back home i heard a band playing for one house, so me and the two oldest girls stood at the gate and listened for a while. and just some minutes later the house owner invited us to come inside, offered us a drink and we chat a bit while listening to the band.
there were two guitar players (one acoustic and one electronic), two chajon players and two – three singers. they played nepali songs and most of the people were dancing and everybody was laughing and having fun. it was a great atmosphere! later we were invited to see the fireworks from the rooftop (even though fireworks are not really legal a lot of people do it anyway 😉 ).
i met a friend for breakfast at the himalayan java coffee shop in thamel. we talked, strolled through thamel and had some lunch at a really nice vegetarian restaurant.
this evening the children and me walked from house to house again, we danced and sung. it was a lot of fun 🙂
today is said to be the most important one. the sisters were doing the tika for their brothers, putting a marigold chain around their neck and giving them a plate full of nuts, sweets, nepali bread and fruits; after that the boys did the same for their sisters. it is a really nice ritual as it strengthens the bond between the siblings 🙂