There is a part of a festival in Nepal in which an entire day is dedicated to being thankful to dogs for their friendship and loyalty.
The time itself is called ‘Diwali’, which is celebrated Hindus, and is a ‘festival of lights’, celebrated by millions in India, Nepal and elsewhere in the world.
Specific to Nepal, there is one full day dedicated to dogs called Kukur Tihar or Kukur Puja (worship of the dogs) in which respect and gratitude is given to our four-legged companions for being such loyal friends of ours.
During the five day Tihar festival the second day is reserved for our loyal companions. On that day, all dogs in the community are treated with the best of everything and are adorned in garlands to celebrate.
All dogs are included in this tradition, including stray dogs, and they are given a tilaka, a red mark on the forehead, as a special honor and a sign of sacredness.
Special food is given to the dogs on this day also, to acknowledge the cherished relationship between humans and dogs.
The breathtaking images show just how special a day this is, and will warm the hearts of dog lovers everywhere. This stands in stark contrast to another kind of festival called Yulin, in China, which is a centered around the eating of dog-meat as they believe that this brings luck and good health.
During the Tihar festival, dogs are not the only animal honored. On the first day, the crow is worshiped. The third day is dedicated to cows and also Laxmi, the goddess of wealth. The fourth day is called Govardhan Puja which can be the worship of oxen, the worship of the mountain, or the worship of the self, depending on your background. The fifth and final day is for sisters to dedicate to their brothers, in which they give them a tilaka to ensure long life.
We absolutely love this!