Bhaitika: Celebrating the bond between Brothers and Sisters

9th Nov, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU: The fifth and final day of Tihar is called Bhai Tika. Another one of Nepalese festivals where you get your forehead decorated with colors. This time it’s the sister who gets the pleasure of putting tika with rainbow color in brother's forehead. The tika is supposed to be a thin line of colours right at the centre of the forehead. In my case the thin elegant design turns into a total Picasso when my two year old cousin uses her fat little fingers to apply Tika on her Dada’s forehead. Then the brother gives his sister money and receives gifts in return.

According to Nepalese myth it is believed that Yamaraj, the God of Death, visited his sisterGoddess Yamuna, on this day during which she applied the auspicious tika on his forehead, garlanded him and fed him special dishes. Together, they ate sweets, talked and enjoyed themselves to their hearts' content. Upon parting, Yamaraj gave the Yamuna a special gift as a token of his affection and, in return, Yamuna gave him a lovely gift which she had made with her own hands. That day Yamaraj announced that anyone who receives tilak from his sister will never die on that day.

Bhai Tika sure holds religious and mythical history and meaning but deep inside it’s just another excuse to see your loved ones disguised as a festival. It is a time when family and friends get the much needed time together.