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Nepalese Festival Honors, Celebrates, and Worships Dogs

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There’s a festival in Nepal that celebrates its people’s friendship with dogs. As these furry animals are very much ingrained in the culture of the Nepalese, it is easy to comprehend why dogs are made to feel extra special on this day.

Known as Nepal’s version of the Diwali (the Hindu festival of lights), the annual Tihar Festival is a a five-day celebration that honors gift-giving, storytelling and strong relationships. As the Hindu culture has placed a great deal of value on dogs, the second day of Tihar, otherwise known as Kukur Tihar, is celebrated to give thanks to pets and stray dogs for the friendship and loyalty they have to humans.

Nepalese people believe that dogs are the guard of the gates in the afterlife.

Source: Dogster

In the Rigveda, one of Hinduism’s most ancient texts, Samara — the mother of dogs — assists Indra, the ruler of heaven, in retrieving a cattle that has been stolen. The Hindus also regard the dog as the guardian and messenger of Yama (the Hindu lord and judge of the dead), and is also believed to be the guard of the gates of the afterlife.

According to the ancient text of the Mahabharata, king Yudhishthira (Hindu’s king of righteousness) refuses to go to heaven without bringing his pet dog with him.

So yes, there is no denying that dogs are indeed important in the Hindu culture.

Dogs are very much ingrained in Nepalese culture.

Source: Dogster

Hence, it is but understandablle why, Nepalese go out of their way to make dogs feel extra special during the Kukur Tihar. Apart from giving the dogs lots of treats on the said day, Nepalese hang garlands around the animals’ neck and mark their furry foreheads with red marks, too.

On the second day of the Tihar Festival, dogs are honored and celebrated by giving them lots of treats, making them wear garlands, and marking their heads read.

Source: Dogster

The food offerings for the dogs come in wide array of choices. While milk, eggs, meat, or high-quality dog food are common, some even offer dogs a bit of sel roti, a deep-fried confection that is similar to a donut.

Apart from dogs, the Tihar Festival also devotes one day each for crows, cows, oxen, and siblings.

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Compared with China’s Yulin Festival, this one is definitely a far, better dog festival.

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