Dog Festival in Nepal
‘Kukur Tihar’: The Hindu festival dedicated to worshipping dogs.
This is the Hindu festival celebrated across Nepal dedicated to worshipping dogs. People gather together to worship their pet dogs as well as stray dogs. All dogs are treated equal! Respect dogs and show all the dogs some love. Bathed with colorful garlands and tika, all dogs – including strays – are gently washed by families and served a selection of milk, meat, and more.
Why are dogs celebrated?
There are two main reasons why people celebrate dogs. For devout Hindus, the celebrations are tied to a belief that dogs are the guide on the way to heaven. There is a belief that Yudhishthira who reveals himself as the god of Yama refuses to enter heaven without a dog. Thus to remark the ancient bond between dog and God, the Dog festival especially known as Kukur Tihar is celebrated.
The second reason is dogs are the most loyal companion of human, so human needs to manage some time to appreciate and thank dogs for their loyal companionship.
What is the Tihar Festival?
Tihar festival, a five-day-long Hindu festival of lights, is celebrated in Nepal and by the Hindu people. Kukar Tihar or Dog Festival falls on the second day of the Tihar Festival. Typically, each of the five days of Tihar is dedicated to the worship of different animals, associated with the Hindu god of death.
On day one, it is traditional to feed crows and ravens atop Hindu rooftops on an auspicious occasion like an important festival as the incarnation or the messenger of death god Yama. By worshiping crow, there is a belief that there will be ward off death and grief in upcoming days and years.
On day second, it is traditional to worship and feed the dog. This day is known as ‘Kukur Tihar’ the main day of your tour.
On day third, it is traditional to worship and feed cows. Cows are the most important animal in the Hindu religion and are treated as goddesses of wealth.
On day four, it is tradition to worship and feed ourselves. You assume the god is in the inner self. Moreover, on this day, we will worship OX, which is also treated as an analog of a cow in Hinduism and is treated as the god of labor.
Day Five, also the last day is dedicated to people, with sisters traditionally putting tika on their brother’s forehead in the belief that it will secure a long happy, and prosperous life.