The children from Khushi Ghar studying in Kavya School and Reliance Residential School had a month vacation for Dashain and Tihar. Normally, Dashain starts from late September or early October but this year we had a late Dashain, starting at the end of October. Dashain and Tihar are the biggest and a longest festivals in Nepal. We celebrate Dashain for 10 days and Tihar for 5 days. In the long vacation, when possible we send the children to their homes to get to know their existing families and spend time with them, so around 12 children went to their homes. The rest of the children stayed in Khushi Ghar and celebrated Dashain and Tihar together. As the children had their vacation homework, Nikesh and others held daily tutoring classes and engaged with them in their homework. We senior students also did the daily chores, with the help from the juniors. The work was done in a systematic manner and everyone was co-operative. Ram and Jasmati both taught the students dance for Deusi Bhailo program (a program where people dance in their relatives’ home and earn money which can be used later for picnic or some social work), and we also organized a quiz contest, a Dashain mela, a prize distribution program, a trip to the movie theatre, and knitting classes.
Talking specifically about Tihar, Tihar is the festival of lights. This festival comes after Dashain and it is celebrated for five days in October or early November every year. The first day of Tihar is Kaag Tihar – Crow Pooja. The second day is Kukur Tihar – Dog Pooja followed by third day Gai Tihar with Laxmi Pooja – Cow or Goddess of Wealth Pooja and fourth day Goru Tihar, Govardhan Pooja, Maha Puja – Ox Pooja. Bhai Tika, Bhai Dooj – Brother and Sister Pooja is the last day of Tihar where brothers are greeted and blessed by the sisters. Here, in Khushi Ghar the seniors’ boys were engaged in lighting the house and the senior girls helped in performing the puja and making arrangements for it. We made the garlands, made selroti, and decorated the house with flowers and so on.
It is so pleasing to see everyone working together and sharing the happiness and this is the best part of festivals. On the third day, we worshiped Goddess Laxmi in the evening and went to some house to play Bhailini. The next day we lighted the house and then went to play Dheusi. Everyone loved the children’s dance and the songs. We collected a some sum of money from it, which we will use to go on a family picnic over the winter break. On the last day we gave tika to all the brothers of Khushi Ghar with some sweets and delicious foods. Everyone was happy and enjoyed their vacation. The Kavya students went back to their school on 14th November and Reliance students went on 17th November.
We had a memorable time with the children and as we are so much connected to each of the children; it is now silent when they are not here. Festival is not just about gathering, eating and visiting different places but is also about sharing the special bond with the family members and creating a good memory. I would like to thank Himalayan Children Charities (HCC) for taking care of us and providing us with our needs. We smile because we have a beautiful life enriched by the beautiful people like you and with your big help. Thank You!!!