Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Happy Tihar from Kopila Valley! Tihar is the Festival of Lights here in Nepal and it's the best time of year! The whole town lights up with colorful blinking lights. This year, we strung them up all over our house - our uncles hung them from the roof and they floated down all four floors of the Children's Home. The Tihar festival is five days long and is filled with many Nepali traditions. It's the time of year to celebrate the people, Hindu gods, and animals (like crows, cows, and dogs) in our lives.
On Laxmi Pooja (the day to honor cows), the kids created colorful patterns, called rangolis, on the ground made from different shades of colored powder and rice. The kids spent four hours making the beautiful rangoli, pictured above. At nighttime, we lit dozens of candles around our house to illuminate the night. It was magical. Throughout the evening, there were tons of neighborhood groups streaming by our house singing and dancing Bhaili (a tradition similar to Christmas caroling).
The month-long Dashain holiday ends with the celebration of Bhai Tika. It's the celebration to honor the relationship between brothers and sisters and the special bond they share. During the ceremony, siblings promise to support and protect each other for life. It's our favorite festival! The kids all give each other tika and flower necklaces.
Look at this beautiful family of ours. If you ask me what I’m most proud of, it’s my children’s relationship with each other. They have each other's backs no matter what. When I see them all hanging out, chatting late at night, comforting each other when they are sad, helping each other with homework, cuddling watching a movie or at satsung (our nightly family meeting), and FaceTiming even when they are continents apart, it just melts my heart. I know they will be there for each other until the end of time.
Here’s to spreading light and believing in love.