Did you know Nepal has a dog festival?
Every dog has its day, and for canines in Nepal that phrase could not be more literal.
Every year Nepal celebrates ‘Kukur Tihar’, the annual Hindu festival where dogs are worshiped to please the god of death, Yama. Kukur Tihar, also known as “day of the dogs,” is a part of a five-day festival which take place around Diwali.
Dogs are celebrated and blessed with a Tika – a red mark applied to their forehead. The animals are also given flowers garlands and offered food as part of the festival.
Hindus believe that dog is the messenger of Yamaraj – the God of death – and by keeping the dogs in good humour they will be able to appease Yamaraj himself.
Sumnima Maudas said Kukur Tihar is one of her “favourite Nepalese festivals” and added the day was all about her chihuahua Sanu. The festival, which shares some traditions with Diwali in India, also celebrates cows and crows.
Throughout this festival, people in Nepal clean their houses and courtyards; light up lamps and pray to Laxmi – the Goddess of Wealth – urging her to visit their houses and bless them.