Tihar Festival of Food, Oct 21 – 25
Nepal’s most auspicious festival in the Nepalese calendar –Tihar – known as the festival of lights, celebrated throughout the globe will launch for the very first time here in Dublin, it was announced today (Mon 20 Oct) by Nepalese restaurateurs Shiva & Lina Gautam.
Over a five-day period (from Mon 20– 25 Oct), Shiva & Lina; Proprietors of Monty’s of Kathmandu, Temple Bar, will play host to the festival, serving up culinary delights synonymous with that of Tihar along with little snippets of Nepal’s rich cultural and food heritage.
“It’s about community, friendship, fun and family – sitting around a dinner table faced with an array of traditional cooked food is what binds it all together,” says Shiva.
‘The description of Tihar is never complete without the food. Like what turkey is to Thanksgiving – good food in plenty holds similar importance for Tihar,’ he continued.
The Tihar Festival, is one the holiest festivals of the country but is also the one which is most anticipated. The festival falls around October depending on the lunar cycle, is celebrated over five days – the most important days being the last day. Most Nepali celebrates it with same zeal and enthusiasm.
Lina, who has her own cooking slot on RTE’s Afternoon Show & runs her own Cookery school, tucked away downstairs in Monty’s private seated dining area – will also be getting involved in the festivities.
“As a child, Tihar meant two things, relatives and good food. Not unlike Irish traditions, the festival emphasizes family virtues and celebrates in gathering the extended family and friends, with a strong focus on the renewal of community ties,” says Lina.
Ireland is home to only a very small percentage of Nepalese with records indicating the first Nepalese settled in Ireland from 1984. Nevertheless, however small all the more reason why Tihar is key to bringing this small ethnic community together, and more importantly opening up its doors for all to share in this wonderful spiritual culinary celebration.
Luckily, over the next week punters can experience everything from tapas style servings, black lentil appetizers and momos (paneer parcels (cottage cheese)) and various mouth-watering lamb dishes, a plethora of vegetables.
For Shiva & Lina, Dublin is home from home, not only for themselves, but also for other ex-pats residing here, with sights set to grow the festival year on year to expose their warm and hospitable culture to the Irish masses.