What is your favorite holiday tradition?
As I am Nepali, my favorite holiday tradition is celebrating Tihar and it is also called festival of lights. On Tihar, there is a tradition of offering prayers for five days which has been allotted for five different purposes. On the first day, crow is offered food as a crow is supposed to be responsible for many misdeeds.
On the second day, the dog is worshiped and offered food and given respect as it is considered to be a faithful partner and a guardian. On the third day, the cow is worshiped as it is considered as the mother of universe as it provides milk to the human too. On the evening of the same day, Goddess Laxmi (God of Wealth) is worshiped for wealth prosperity.
On the fourth day, the Newars have “Mha(Self) Puja where the members of the family sit in a line and the eldest lady of the house offers prayers and blessing which is meant to be for the health, purity of the soul and longevity of the self. This ritual is followed only by the Newar Community.
I really enjoy this ritual as everyone believes it is done for the cleansing of the soul. On the fifth day, the sisters bring offerings, gifts, offer blessing and pray for the brother’s prosperity and health and it is believed that this blessing actually protects the brothers from the evil. In return, the brothers give gifts to the sisters.
What’s your favorite holiday food?
My favorite holiday food is the variety of traditional cuisines which are essential for Thar. As the traditional culinary are time consuming, it is cooked lesser and lesser on daily basis. However, the cuisines are a must on such occasions so it is always a favorite on such occasions. The cuisines comprises of various vegetables, beaten rice, mutton, smoked fish, chicken, lentil pancakes (bara), hog plum soup (paun), red beans, fried boiled eggs etc. The foods are served on a sequel which is considered to help in the digestion.
What do you love most about the season?
I love the fact that on these traditional gatherings, families come together and spend quality time together forgetting the differences. Friends and families exchange gifts and warm wishes and the bonding becomes stronger. I love the mild sunlight, the freezing breeze, the lights, candles and the warm happy feelings of joy. The whole city is covered with lights and it is beautiful to see the smiles on everyone’s face.
What is your favorite childhood holiday memory?
My favorite childhood memory is that on such occasions, we used to meet everyone who lives in different parts of the country or the different corners of the world. They return home to be with the family. It is a beautiful feeling when you get to see the people you have been missing.
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?
Always! My daughter has had a serious issue with Santa Claus a long time back; of course it is resolved now. She had written a long wish list of gifts but I bought only a few and because it was very cold, I bought mittens, scarves and warm clothes instead of the other items she has mentioned. In the middle of the night, I heard a loud cry and to my horror, she was sitting on the floor with the gifts scattered all around her.
She was very disappointed with Santa Claus! But her smart mom (myself) quickly came up with an answer,” Santa must have seen you running around without any warm clothes! That’s why I tell you to wear your scarves and mittens”. Fortunately, she was convinced and stopped crying and makes it a point to stay warm during the winters just in case Santa Claus is watching and decides to send her more mittens and gloves.
magpie_feathers is a Giant Squid on Squidoo