As humans, most of us love to pet animals. There is a wide variety of animals that people keep as pets. But there is this one animal that flashes in our mind once we hear the word “Pet,” and that is none other than our most beloved dogs.
Dogs have played an essential role in supporting humans since the beginning of humanity. For instance, they guard our houses and help us protect cattle on farms, and there are various kinds of dogs assigned to do different tasks, such as police dogs, therapy dogs, pathfinders, etc. They are one of the most lovable creatures on Earth. Their loyalty to their masters and their care towards us is one of the main reasons dogs are renowned as man’s best friends.
So now we are going to talk about a unique festival held by people for the sole purpose of honoring dogs and expressing our gratitude towards them for their loyalty towards us and the sacrifices they make for the well-being of humans.
I think we all have heard about “Diwali,” which means “The festival of light,” which is celebrated by millions of Hindus around the globe. People in Nepal do something different on that day; instead of Diwali, they hold something known as Kukur Tihar or Kukur Puja, a ceremony purely dedicated to honoring dogs.
Kukur Tihar is celebrated for five days in Nepal. On the 2nd day of their celebration, they start adoring dogs by offering them delicious food, decorating them with garlands, and they apply a red paste-like thing called “Tika” on the forehead of these animals, which Nepalians usually use on themselves during important occasions.
The red powder mark or the “Tika” in the foreheads of dogs symbolizes the sacredness of animals, and it implies that similar to humans, animals are also an essential part of Nature.
What’s unique about this ceremony is that pet dogs and stray dogs are also honored in the same manner in an equal spirit.
Here people treat dogs with that much respect and care because they believe dogs are the messengers of god Yama, who is known to be the god of death by Hindus’ and they think treating dogs in such a pleasant manner is a way of pleasing the god of death. And also, the old Hindu text Mahabaratha mentions a king named Yudhishthira (the king of justice), who refused to enter into heaven without the company of his beloved pet dog.
Treating animals with love and care is something that we should practice. And celebrating this unbreakable bond cultured with love and care is something worth appreciating.