Dogs are always known for their loyalty. It is said that if you raise a child he might desert you, but raise a dog and it will pay you back with loyalty. In Nepal, this quality of dogs is honoured with a festival called Tihar on the second day of Diwali.
In Nepal, the festival is known as Kukur Tihar or Khicha Puja which means worship of dogs. The Nepalese believe that dogs are messengers of Yamaraj (the God of Death), and therefore worship and express their gratitude towards these pets.
It is a festival where the relationship between dogs and humans is cherished. The dogs are offered garlands and delicious food and applied tika. Tihar is celebrated for five days- the first day being dedicated to worshipping cows- the national animal of Nepal.
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Yamaraj, who is responsible for taking the souls to Heaven or Hell, has two dogs named Shyam and Sadal. These two are believed to guard the entrance of hell and have four eyes.
The vermillion mark, tika, applied to dogs signifies that they are divine beings. The people, on the occasion of this popular festival also honour street dogs. The animal rights bodies in Nepal also promote this festival.
Such a novel way to honour and show our love for our furry friends, don’t you think?
Know of more such unconventional festivals around the world? Share with us in the Comments below!
Title image: article