The festival of Bhai Tika, marking the bond between brothers and sisters, was celebrated in Nepal on Friday.
Concluding the five-day festival of Tihar, Bhai Tika sees sisters praying for their brothers' long life in a tradition which is believed to strengthen the bond between the siblings.
During the celebrations, the sister draws a circle around her brother using oil and Dubo (a type of grass) which is believed to protect him from Yamaraj, the Hindu Lord of death.
Following this, customs call for the exchange of a seven-coloured tika and a marigold or globe amaranth garland called 'Makhamali' between the sister and brother. The sister also offers sweets, walnuts, and Sel, a special deep-fried cake made of rice flour to the brother. The brother reciprocates the love by giving gifts and money to the sister.
"The sisters pray for the long and healthy life of their brothers during the festival, while expecting the support of the brothers during the time of pain, sorrow, and happiness. They hope for their brother's protection and company through all times," says a local resident Samyog Chapagain.
Another local resident, Kalpana Chapagain, expressed her joy on celebrating Bhai Tika and said, "After a gap of many years I am being able to celebrate this festival with my brothers. I am blessed."
Bhai Tika is also associated with the Hindu belief of Yamaraj's meeting with his sister, Yamuna. Yamaraj is believed to have met his sister Yamuna after a long time, following which Yamuna prayed for his well-being by applying a tika on his forehead.
The festival of Bhai Tika falls on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Kartik during the five-day Tihar festival, which is celebrated with gusto in Nepal. A similar festival, called Bhai Dooj, is celebrated in India on the same day. (ANI)