Hindus in Nepal celebrate Bhai Tika festival to honor brother-sister bonding

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NEPAL-KATHMANDU-TIHAR FESTIVAL-BHAI TIKA

People attend a group celebration during Bhai Tika, the major and last day of five-day long Tihar festival, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Nov. 9, 2018. (Xinhua/Sunil Sharma)

KATHMANDU, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) — Nepalese Hindus across the country observed Bhai Tika, the major and last day of five-day long Tihar festival, on Friday.

The day, which falls on the second lunar day of bright fortnight in the month of Kartik according to lunar calendar, is regarded as one of the most special ones as it honors the relationship and bonding between brothers and sisters.

On the occasion, sisters offer “tika” on the forehead of their brothers and wish them happiness, long life and prosperity. This tika is locally called Saptarangi as it consists seven different colors. Sisters also put garlands made up of marigold and globe amaranth to their brothers.

Besides tika and garland, sisters also offer varieties of sweets, fruits, dry food and gifts to the brothers. In return, brothers also apply colorful tika to their sisters and offer them money and presents.

According to Hindu myth, the occasion commemorates a legendary event in which a sister has won a boon from “Yama,” the deity of death that her brother would not die until the garlands are faded.

On this day, those who do not have brothers and sisters visit Rani Pokhari or Queen’s Lake in Kathmandu and receive tika. This is the only time in a year when the temple is open to the public, though the temple has been severely damaged in the earthquake of 2015 and is undergoing reconstruction.

The Nepali government had announced a three-day holiday to mark the festival.