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Tihar begins, Kaag Tihar being observed today

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — Tihar, the second largest festival of the Nepali Hindus begins from today.  Also known as Yampanchak,  the festival is observed for five days.

Decorating homes with colorful lights, flowers and oil-fed lamps as well as eating various delicacies including sweets and sel roti are part of this festival of lights. Playing of deusi bhailo and worshipping of different animals and birds are also significant aspect of this festival.

The first day of the festival is observed as Kaag Tihar. The day is observed by feeding crows, regarded as messengers in the Nepali society.

The second day is Kukur Tihar (worship of the dogs) , the third day is Gai Tihar and Laxmi Pooja (worship of the cows in the morning and Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth in the Hindu mythology in the evening and the fourth day is Goru Pooja (worship of the oxen).

Tihar is also a festival of bonding between brothers and sisters which is celebrated as Bhai Tika. On the occasion of Bhai Tika, the last (fifth) day of Tihar, that falls on October 21 this year, sisters put Tika wishing for longevity and prosperity of their brothers, while brothers, in turn, give gifts and pledge to take care of their sisters.

The auspicious hour for the Bhai Tika this Tihar is at 11:51 am, according to the Nepal Calendar Fixation Committee.

The government has announced a three-day public holiday starting from Laxmi Pooja to Bhai Tika i.e. from October 19 to 21.

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Health

Regular bedtime beneficial for heart and metabolic health among older adults

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — Sufficient sleep has been proven to help keep the body healthy and the mind sharp. But a new study on sleep patterns has suggested that a regular bedtime and wake time are just as important for heart and metabolic health among older adults too.

Researchers at Duke Health and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, in a study of 1,978 older adults, have found that people with irregular sleep patterns weighed more, had higher blood sugar, higher blood pressure, and a higher projected risk of having a heart attack or stroke within 10 years than those who slept and woke at the same times every day.

The study  was published Sept 21 in the journal Scientific Reports.

“From our study, we can’t conclude that sleep irregularity results in health risks, or whether health conditions affect sleep,” said study’s lead author Jessica Lunsford-Avery.

“Perhaps all of these things are impacting each other.”

African-Americans had the most irregular sleep patterns compared to participants who were white, Chinese-American or Hispanic, the data showed.

Still, the data suggest tracking sleep regularity could help identify people at risk of disease, and where health disparities may impact specific groups.

Irregular sleepers were also more likely to report depression and stress than regular sleepers, both of which are tied to heart health.

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