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Gai Tihar

By Master Snigdha Bhattarai in Festivals .
October 20, 2022

Kartik Krishna Aunshi Date of the third day of Tihar, the day when cows are worshiped is also known as (Cow Festival) Gai Tihar. This night of the New Moon is considered the darkest night. Under the celebration of Yamapanchak, today’s dark night, which falls a day after Lakshmi Puja, is illuminated with the help of bright lights created with traditional oil lamps. Tihar Celebration gives us a message that the light of conscious power can remove the darkness which exists inside all of us. Gai Tihar is celebrated as one of the important days of Yamapanchak and its other days include Bhai Tika (Kija Puja), Govardhan Puja with Kukur Tihar, Kaag Tihar, and so on.

The cow is considered the symbol of Goddess Lakshmi and this is the reason why this day is celebrated as Gai Tihar. According to astrological belief, it is believed that worshiping Lakshmi during the Stable Lagna (ascendent fixed signs) and Pradosh periods will bring prosperity. In Nepal, before starting any religious or social ceremony, cow dung is used to paint the yard, walls, and even the house in some places. Similarly, to purify the house from Sutak, Jutho, etc., it is a tradition to sprinkle cow urine inside different parts of the house. Hindu community worship and regards cows as Lakshmi (Goddess of Prosperity) or GauMata i.e. Cow-Mother. 

The story of Yamaraj spending five days during Yamapanchak in the hospitality of his sister the Yamuna is also associated with Tihar. Gai Tihar is a special day of Yamapanchak/Tihar and its importance is very clear from the above-mentioned facts.

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