The festival of Tihar (Yamapanchak) began on Friday. The festival, a celebration of victory of good over and of brother-sister love is also called the Festival of Lights. While electric lights from China and India have flooded the market now, there was a time when Nepalis used to light traditional earthen lamps to observe the festival.
The lamps are now becoming a rare sight in most cities, and it could disappear altogether as traditional artisans’ new generation choose different careers.
Here we have a look at the steps involved in making of the diyo, the traditional earthen lamp.
After the artisans receive the clay, chosen carefully for the occasion. They prepare the the clay ‘dough’ adding just enough water to make it soft and easy to work with.
It is then spun on a wheel and given a shape of a diyo. The artisan uses his skill to give the diyo the required depth and the shape, just right for the occasion.
The diyos are then dried in the sun, or in a fire.
After they are dried, they are given their colour, and are ready to be sent to homes for Tihar.