This festival is also known as Depawali, the festival of lights. It falls generally on the first week of November. After Dashain this is the second most important and popular festival in Nepal. It is celebrated mainly for five days, each day bringing new rituals and Pujas. On the first day, crows are worshipped for their role in conveying messages, second day dogs are worshipped for their loyalty to humans, third day cows are worshipped for being the holy animal and at night the whole house is cleaned and decorated with flowers and lights to worship Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth, good fortune and prosperity. On the third day, Nepalese girls and kids roam around the neighborhood, singing the traditional Vhailo songs ( our version of Halloween trick or treat minus the trick and ghosts, plus blessings in return of treats) on the fourth day, again Goddess Laxmi is worshipped but along with Lord Krishna. This day is the boy’s turn to roam around the village or city singing and dancing on the traditional Deusi Re songs. The fifth day day is the much loved brother and sister day when the sisters perform a sacred ritual to protect their brothers from death, illness and any bad fortune or spirits.
Do: It is best if you are in the city, then you will get to see this festival in full action. Though nights can be noisy due to the Vhailo and Deusi groups roaming around but you will definitely enjoy the celebrations. Maybe you can join the children or the youth’s group for their Vhailo and Deusis and receive the Bhaitika on the fifth day from a Nepalese sister.
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