Dawali or Tihar, the Festival of Lights

This weekend, Dawali has been going on around the world. What we noticed was a great deal of celebrating in Ohio. Yesterday began Laxmi Puja, and it was festive! For those not yet aware, it is defined as:

“While Laxmi is generally worshiped to achieve success, she does not reside long with anyone who is lazy or desire her only as wealth. On Diwali, Laxmi Puja is of great significance and so do it’s Mahurat to begin with. Laxmi Puja on Diwali should be done during Pradosh Kaal that begins with sunset and last for 1 hour.” (Source: https://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&type=E214US105G0&p=Laxmi+Pooja)

Today, as the celebrations continue, it is known as, Govardhan Puja, which is known as a time to also celebrate the welfare of the family. While an explanation can be found with more details, please let us know if there is more or less that we may change to better reflect this beautiful celebration.

Goru Tihar or Govardhana Pooja is the fourth day of Tihar. The specialty of this day is a famous story behind it. Once upon a time, there was a drought in Vrindavan village. So, the villagers of Vrindaban worshipped Lord Indra, God of Rain, but Lord Krishna persuaded the villagers that the rainfall is because of Govardhan hill, not Lord Indra. The persuasion by Lord Krishna aroused the anger of Lord Indra, and he made a heavy rainfall, stormy weather, and floods everywhere. Lord Krishna hence uplifted the Govardhan hill to protect and shelter the villagers from the thunderstorm, flood, and rain. Since then, the people make a small hillock of gobar (cow’s dung) representing the Govardhan hill and worship to pay the tribute.

Another importance of this day is Goru Tihar. There is a belief that Goru (Ox) was the messenger of Yamuna to her brother. Also, Goru is the vehicle of Lord Shiva, the Nandi. We worship Ox to pay tribute to help us grow crops by helping to plow the fields. Legends say that the one who ties the thread worn on the day of Janai Purnima (Doro) in the tail of an Ox will be led to heaven by the Ox crossing the mythical river. Delicious offerings are made and fed to Ox on the occasion of this festival.

In the evening, people go around to houses in groups, playing Deusi, a musical program. The house owners give some money or food or present in return for entertaining them with the songs and the blessings for their welfare.” (Source: https://nepaltraveller.com/sidetrack/goru-tihar-or-govardhan-puja)

And in a few hours, Monday, 11/16/20, will mark Bhai Dooj. Bhai Dooj can be seen as a festival that celebrates the bond between both brothers and sisters. “Bhai Dooj 2020 Bhai Dooj, a Hindu festival is celebrated on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha in the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar. Also known as ‘Bhai Phonta’, ‘Bhai Tika’, ‘Bhau Beej’, and ‘Yamadvitiya’, the festival is celebrated in the country during Diwali with a lot of enthusiasm and spirit.” (Source: https://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&type=E214US105G0&p=Bhai+Dooj)

This time, from listening to those celebrating, for some, have been also seen as a time of reflection. With the changes and challenges in our communities, we just want to say have a great time, be safe and wishing you happiness prosperity!