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Gai Tihar, Laxmi Puja being observed today

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KATHMANDU — On the third day of the Yamapanchak, Gai Tihar and Laxmi Puja or worship to the Goddess of wealth is being celebrated with various religious rituals throughout the country in accordance with time honored tradition.

Gai (cow) is worshiped in the morning while Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth, is being worshiped in every household in the evening wishing for prosperity to mark the third day of the five-day Tihar festival — also known as the festival of lights — by lighting butter lamps and candles inside and outside of the households to light up the path of Goddess Laxmi in order to welcome her.

All the nooks and corners of the house are illuminated with colorful and decorative lights this evening in the belief that Goddess Laxmi does not visit places that are not properly illuminated, and so to please Goddess Laxmi, people light lamps and spend the whole night in vigil.

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After the rituals, women of every household beat the Nanglo (a large straw woven plate) and enter the house from the courtyard to appease the Goddess and by wishing prosperity to enter their homes.

As per the scriptures Sri Sukta hymn is recited after worshiping Laxmi and a coconut, which is a favorite of the Goddess, is offered to her as it is believed this ritual ushers in prosperity.

The night of Laxmi Puja is also a start to the cultural programmes like ‘Deusi’ and ‘Bhailo’, where people, said to be sent by the king Bali, visit different homes singing and dancing for the prosperity.

Girls in groups visit door-to-door in settlements singing the Bhailo songs and the house-owners offer gifts of Selroti, rice grains and money to them.

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TIA resumes operation after Malindo aircraft skids off runway towed

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KATHMANDU — Tribhuvan International Airport has resumed operation since 9:00 am Friday morning after it was closed at around 10:45 pm on Thursday.

The airport had halted all international flights following the runway excursion by the Kuala Lumpur-bound Malindo Air flight on Thursday night, according to TIA officials.

The Boeing 737-900ER aircraft taking off for Kuala Lumpur from Kathmandu skidded off the runway at 10:07 pm yesterday.

The flight OD 181 with call sign 9M-LNJ, was cleared for takeoff from runway 20 with 139 people, including 4 crew members, on board the aircraft.

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It has been learnt that the pilot swerved the plane towards the ground from the runway after sensing some technical glitches with the tyres of the aircraft.

But the aircraft apparantly couldn’t stop because of the take-off speed and load at the final moment and overran 50m south (Koteshwor side) from the runway threshold and rested in a grassland at around 22:08 pm (local time).

The runway was closed following the incident. However, the aircraft has not suffered any damage but the front tyre has been stuck in the mud.

In March 2015, a Turkish Airlines aircraft also suffered a runway excursion during landing at TIA that had closed the country’s sole international airport for four days.

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