Govardhan Puja, Mha puja and Nepal Sambat is the fourth day of Tihar festival, and people worship different subjects depending upon their specific cultural background.
However, the ‘Govardhan Parvat’ is widely worshiped in this day, thus giving this name. A small pile of cow dung, which is constructed similar to the shape of the mountain, is taken as the resemblance of the Govardhan Moundain, and is worshiped by the people. No puja is considered to be complete without the cow dung in the Hindu culture. Mainly followed by Vaishnavs, this ritual is performed by many other ethnical Hindus too. In this day, the oxen is also worshiped, and hence, this day is also known as Goru Tihar.
The Newar people inside or outside the Kathmandu valley do the Mha puja in this day. ‘Mha’ means body-worship or self-worship, and the self-worship is done by the Newari community because it is believed that the process purifies the body and soul. The Mha Puja is done in a special mandap (decorated by flowers, garlands, sweets, meat, lentil and fruits) for each, by being offered a Shagun (which consists of fried eggs, fish, fruits and local alcohol) by the female family member. People continue to play Deusi and Bhailo in this day too. The house are continued to be made bright.
Also read: Mha Puja: The New Year’s Day
Nepal Sambat is the new year for newari community. The government of Nepal recognised the Nepal Sambat as the national calendar in 2007 A.D. This calendar was the national calendar of Nepal in Malla and early Shah era too, It was replaced by Bikram Sambat as the national calendar latter. However, the calendar is still in use because most of the Nepalese festivals are celebrated according to the nepal sambat calendar.
This is a lunar calendar. It consists of 354 days per year and an added one month every third year. This calendar came into being and into official use during the reign of king Raghabdev, immediately after the completion of Mandev Sambat 304 (881 AD). Nepal Sambat is an unique calendar in the whole world.
The New Year’s Day of Nepal Samvat (Kartika Sukla Pratipada) coincides with a family celebration among the Newars, both Buddhist and Hindu, known as mha puja (literally, body-worship or self-worship). Although the puja is evidently inspired by the puranas and tantras, it is a unique Newar festival, quite different both in form and content from the Hindu festival of Govardhan Puja. Read more about Nepal Sambat on www.nepalsambat.com