Tihar- Festival of Flowers and Lights

Today was Day 1 of Tihar and I had fully planned to prepare a posting on this important festival. Since my friend Shree did such an amazing job, I am re-blogging his posting – thanks Shree! Enjoy.

Phoolbari- A Garden (फूलबारी- एक बगैंचा)

Tihar (Nepali: तिहार) is a five-day-long Hindu festival celebrated in Nepal which comes soon after Dashain. It is same as Deepawali celebrated by the hindus in India, Sri Lanka,Bangladesh, Guyana, Surinam, Europe and NortH America but with a regional variation. In Nepal, all Hindu ethnic groups celebrate this festival with their own variation.For the majority Hindus, it is the festival of lights. 95% of the people in Nepal are Hindus and they celebrate tihar ( deepawali or diwali) by worshiping the Hindu goddess Laxmi for all five days. The majority brahmins and the chhetris communities celebrate it for five days. Among the ethnic newari community in the kathmandu valley, it is popularly known as Deepawali or Swanti. The festival is celebrated from Trayodashi of Kartik Krishna to Kartik Shukla Dwitiya every year. Tihar in general signifies the festival of lights, where diyas are lit both inside and outside the houses…

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About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In the past two years, my work in Nepal has expanded to the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation www.bomkarlsson.com and the Spinal Cord Injured Network Nepal. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in the north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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