Bhai Tika – Sister and brother day in Nepal

The gifts presented to the bhai - brother consist of fruits, chocolates and ceremonial food

This morning we were priviledgded to witness the observance of Bhai Tika by our neighbors down stairs.Bhai tika is the last day of Diwali celebrations in Nepal. The day is also refeered to as Bhai Tihar. Bhai means brother while Tika –  tilaka or  tilak  is a mark worn on the forehead and other parts of the body. Tilaka may be worn on a daily basis or for special religious occasions only, depending on different customs.

The tika is in different colours

The tika  symbolizes the third eye, or mind’s eye, associated with many Hindu gods and the idea of meditation and spiritual enlightenment (Hinduism and Budhism are the main religions in Nepal). In the past, tilakas were usually worn by gods, priests, ascetics, or worshippers, but is now a common practice for most Hindus. It can express which Hindu tradition one follows. It may be made with sandal wood paste, ashes , clay, or other substances. The pastes are applied to the forehead and in some cases to the upper part of the  forehead.

The sister performing Puja

Today sisters pray to Yamraja for her brother’s long life and prosperity. The royal astrologer gives the appropriate time to put the tika through the national radio a day before and the entire nation abides by it. The king of Nepal receives tika from his sisters after which a thirty-one-gun salute is given to honor the function. The entire nation observes Bhai Tika.

A  Mandap is made in the name of her brother, then the sister put Tika (Seven)

Brothers receiving gifts during Bhai tika

colored) — Yellow, green, red, blue and white color ,offers him Shagun, fruits and sweets and in return the brother gives their sister gifts or money. He also places Tika on her forehead.

The main theme behind bhai tika is the sisters praying for their brother’s long life from Yama Raj, god of the underworld

The sister serves them some delicious food

The sister then serves the brothers with some food. We are told that the ceremony is important that those who dont have brothers can adopt a brother just to perform the ceremony. If you put Tika on a man, he becomes your bhai (brother) an culturally you cannot marry him. That is how strong the tie is.

This is a happy moment for the girl

The brother placing tika on the sister’s forehead

We were treated to some of the food prepared and it was delicious!!!

About YAOtieno

What you see is what you get.
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2 Responses to Bhai Tika – Sister and brother day in Nepal

  1. Hi Yaotieno! very good analysis and briefing about Tihar in Nepal.I like this blogs. I am from nepal But now in Norway as a FK participants. I wanna a question why you not mention about of SEL ROTTY, It is special food item of tihar festival in Nepal.

    • YAOtieno says:

      Hi Durgar,

      Nice to hear from you. Glad you like the articles. I will definatley learn and write more about the SEL ROTTY. For now your comment has just reminded me about the Nepali momo which is a unique food. Hope you are enjoying the experience in Norway!

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