Brother-Sister Bond Observed Across Nepal

KATHMANDU, NEPAL, October 21, 2017 (Kathmandu Post): The five-day-long Tihar festival came to an end after the observance of Bhaitika on Saturday. As an important part of the festival, sisters offered Tika to their brothers wishing them happiness, long life and prosperity on the occasion of Bhaitika. On this day of the Tihar festival, brothers who have sisters are seated at a specially anointed place around which a trail of mustard oil is drawn. The sisters then offer the brothers Tika and garlands of Dubo and Makhamali.

The occasion commemorates a legendary event in which a sister won a boon from Yama, the Deity of death that her brother would not die until the mustard oil dried up and the garland of Dubo and Makhamali faded. Brothers also offer their sisters Tika in return, wish them happiness and good luck, and give them presents. The Bhaitika tradition is so strong in Nepali society that even those who have no brothers or sisters of their own receive Tika from others whom they regard as brothers and sisters.