Bhai tika is the last day of Deepawali/Tihar celebrations in Nepal. It is the most important day and is also known as Bhai tihar. On this brother and sister day, sister pray to Yamraja, the lord of death, for her brother’s long life and prosperity. The royal astrologer gives the appropriate time to put the tika through the national radio a day before and the entire nation abides by it. At this moment the entire nation will be observing Bhai Tika. A mini-fasting is held during this day, people don’t eat until they put tika.
Legend holds that when the Kirat king, Bali Hang, fell ill, Yamaraja sent messages in the form of dogs and crows. At this time, Bali Hang’s sister guarded him by sending messages that he could take him only after fulfilling certain conditions; that the god of death should wait till Panchami i.e bhai tika. She also put forth conditions that Yama should not take Bali Hang until the tika, which she had smeared on his forehead, fades away, the water sprinkled dries and the makhmali (a kind of flower) flower wilts.
A Mandap is made in the name of her brother, then the sister put Paanch Rangi Tika (Five colored) -Yellow, green, red, blue and white color, on brother’s forehead. After tika, sisters offer him Shagun, fruits and sweets. Now its the turn of brothers to put tika on sister. The same process is repeated and instead of sweets, shagun the brothers give their sister gifts or money. The main theme behind bhai tika is the sisters praying for their brother’s long life from Yama Raj, god of the underworld.