Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tihar: Festival of Lights

The realities of life - school, commitments and cost of airfare - have me arriving in Kathmandu just after the main festival season. I've missed Dashain and now I'm arriving in Kathmandu on Saturday on the heels of Tihar or Deepawali, Nepal's festival of lights.

Tihar honors Laxmi, goddess of wealth, and prayers are offered up for prosperity. During the five day festival, days are set aside to honor man's best friend, dog, and for sisters to honor their brothers. Cleanliness or brightness are also celebrated and reminscent of the farolitas in Latino culture, every home is decorated with oil lamps, butter candles and lights. At night, the city sparkles and on the third day of the festival, Laxmi alights her steed, and owl, to tour the world and assess the celebration from above.

I'm hoping that Kathmandu will be still be glittering for one more night, just for me.


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