Tihar Day 5 – Bhai Tika (Final Tihar Day)

Tihar Day 5 - Bhai Tika (Final Tihar Day) by Gaurav Dhwaj Khadka

On the final day also known as Bhai Tika Day, sisters give tika (a colored powder placed on one’s forehead), and mala (a necklace of flowers or also known as flower leis, similar to that’s used elsewhere like in Hawaii!) to brothers along with wishes for long life and prosperity.

To sisters, Tihar is also the time to re-call their continued wish for a long and a happy life for their brothers. Brothers sit on a floor while sisters perform their puja. Puja involves following a traditional ritual in which sisters circle brothers three times dripping oil on the floor from a copper pitcher. Afterwards, sisters put oil in brother’s ears and hairs, and then give Tika. Also breaking of walnuts by sisters prior to giving Tika to brothers is also a common practice. Tika starts with placing a banana leave already cut into a line shape placed on brothers forehead held by one of the sisters hand, then applying Tika base (made from rice paste) in the open space. Then sister dabs seven colors on top of the base using her fingers. Some may give Tika with the help of a small stick or a brush without the using banana leaves. In this case, small stick is dipped into the Tika base, and then brushed vertically on the forehead, then using a different stick; the seven colors are applied on top of the base. After Tika, flower garland is put around brother’s neck. Then brothers give Tika to sisters in the same fashion. Sisters also receive flower garland around their neck. Brothers give gifts such as clothes or money to sisters while sisters give a special gift known as Sagun (which is made of dried fruits and nuts, and candies), and a fantastic Tihar feast takes place. Those without a sister or brother, join relatives or friends for Tika. Sisters pray for their brother’s long life to the Hindu God of Death (Yam Raj).

Find out more about Tihar at here.

Happy Tihar to you all!
Gaurav Dhwaj Khadka
P.S. Bhai Tika was on 11 November, sorry for late post.

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