How much do you know about Nepal’s annual festival to celebrate dogs?

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While sad and notorious dog eating festival continues in China, we have delightful annual celebration in Nepal to thank dogs for their love which helps restore our faith in humanity. Dogs there are seen as loyal companions, guardians and messengers.

“Diwali”, also called as “festival of lights” is a five-day festival in the Hindu religion celebrating the relationship humans have with all things. Each day focuses on something different and specific observances vary depending on one denomination of Hinduism to another.  In Nepal, the festival of Diwali is called “Tihar” and the second day of Tihar, called “Kukur Tihar”, is dedicated to thanking dogs for their friendship and service.

Dogs have long held a special place in Hindu culture. In the ancient text of the Mahabharata, the great king, Yudhishthira, refused to enter heaven without his devoted dog. Presumably that means that all dogs go to heaven in Hindu lore, as they should. Dogs are also believed to be messengers of Lord Yamaraj, the God of Death and can even see danger coming.

Nepalese dogs, both those with homes and those without, are celebrated and thanked on this special day. They are offered garlands of flowers and delicious food to acknowledge the close relationship between people and dogs. They are also marked with a tika, a red mark applied to the forehead, as a sign of sacredness. The tika acts as a blessing to those who encounter the dog during Kukur Tihar.




This year, the festival will fall on the 6th of November in 2018 in Nepal, maybe it’s time to see the beauty of this country in person!

Related article: Travel guide on Phuket’s must-go attraction for animal lovers
Related article: The most pet friendly country in the world


1st image:
2nd image: Pacific Press
3rd image: Xinhua News Agency

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