Tihar Illuminating home with earthen lamps, colourful lights and candles on Tihar is like lighting the lamp of self-awareness to help us realize that we are immortal and divine souls, the children of supreme soul. Invoking Lakshmi to bestow prosperity implies that prosperity will return to earth only when vice and ignorance are removed by lighting the lamps of self-awareness. It is also considered charitable to donate lamps on this festival lights. Sharing the lights of spiritual wisdom is a great charity. So Tihar is a weeklong festival. Gods worshipped include those symbolizing health (Dhanwantari), Wealth (Lakshmi), Medicine (Mahakali), livestock and food grains (Annakut) and also ultimate reality, death (Yama). The cool month Kartik heralds winter, the most suitable season to promote health. All rituals associated with Tihar are basically aimed at nurturing and developing that consciousness within us which is necessary for our mind and soul. The evil characters in these legends represent the vices or weaknesses in human beings namely, lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego. Naraka and Bali symbolize unrighteous forces while Vishnu and Krishna represent the incorporeal and the Almighty who defeats these forces and liberates all human souls from the bondage of vices. http://www.sahitya.org.np/modules/detail.php?ID=316&modID=18

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