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 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.
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)
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 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.
The brother placing tika on the sister’s forehead