Sikkim celebrates Deepawali with flowers, Bhai Tika, Bhailo and Deusi

Report by: 
SUJAL PRADHAN
Gangtok
11 Nov 2018

Sikkim had been celebrating Diwali for three days in the past week. Friday was Bhai Tika, an important part of the five-day Diwali festival. Bhai Tika is a festival that celebrates the beautiful bond between siblings. On this day, sisters pray for their brothers’ well being and long life, while brothers vow to protect their sisters. It is also known as Bhaiooj, Bhai Bheej and Bhai Phota in other parts of the country.
Festival of Diwali or Tihar in Sikkim saw the sale various kind of flowers in the market. Markets are crowded with people, varieties of flowers are sold as people decorates their houses with flowers. People specially used marigold to decorate their houses. People also illuminated their houses on the occasion with various kinds of lights, diyas and candles.
The first day is observed as Kaag Tihar wherein crows are given offerings, considering them to be divine messengers. On the second day or Kukur Tihar, dogs are honoured for their honesty. After Kaag and KukurTihar, there are also Gai Tihar and and Goru(Bull) Tihar.
Bhailo and Deusi are traditional songs that are sung during the festival of light Dipavali, also called "Tihar" in Nepal.  Children and teenagers sing the songs and dance as they go to various homes in their community, collecting money, sweets, food and giving blessings for prosperity. Bhailo is generally sung by girls, while Deusi is sung by boys.
Friday was Deusi when hundreds of people reached out to the residence of Tourism Minister Ugen T. Gyatso and played Deusi, giving an occasion to the Minister to develop mass contact before the approaching elections. The assembled people were voters in the Minister’s constituency and  Gyatso interacted with them.
On Thursday at the residence of Chief Minister Pawan Chamling  at Mintokghang various group of Deusi and Bhailo from across the state assembled. “This is our tradition and we should preserve it, “Gyatso said. “The young generation is no longer practicing such culture. This year there is a decrease in the number of groups playing Deusi and Bhailo.”