Annual Festival In Nepal Honors Dogs For Their Loyalty And Friendship

There is no doubt that dogs truly are man’s best friend.  They enrich our lives in numerous ways.  People all over the world can’t imagine life without them and honor them in different ways.  For instance, in Nepal they celebrate the wonderful bond we share with our dogs with an annual festival.

This Day of the Dogs festival is dedicated to thanking and honoring dogs for their loyalty and friendship.  It is also called Kukur Tihar or Kukur Puja (worship of the dogs).

It takes place during a time called “biwali,” which is during the Hindu festival of lights held during October – November.  This time is associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and marks the fiscal new year in India.  The Diwali also symbolizes victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.

At the festival, the dogs are blessed with a “Tika,” a red mark applied to their forehead.  They are also given flower garlands and offered food as part of the celebration.

Since the Hindus believe that dog is the messenger of Yamaraj, the God of death, they believe that by keeping the dogs in good humor they will be able to appease Yamaraj.

All dogs are welcomed and honored at the special festival.  Pets as well as stray dogs, and cats are treated like royalty.  They are fed meat, eggs, milk, and good quality dog food.

It’s a beautiful time of year in Nepal where the city is filled with lights and the people clean their houses and courtyards.   They pray to Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth, urging her to visit their houses and bless them.

In the pictures, the animals certainly look happy and content to be the center of attention, however, we think everyday should be the day of the dogs.

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