There is an entire day during a festival in Nepal dedicated solely to thanking dogs for their loyalty and friendship. It was yesterday this year. The time itself is called “Diwali” celebrated by Hindus and is a ‘festival of lights’ celebrated by millions of people around the world every year in the fall, more in Nepal and India.
Specific to Nepal, there is a day during this celebration dedicated to all the Dogs, called Kukur Tihar, specifically to thank our companions for always being our loyal friends.
Tihar is a five day Hindu festival, but the second day is reserved for our loyal companions. It is called Kukur Tihar or Kukur Puja (worship of the dogs).
People offer garlands, tika (a mark worn on the forehead), and delicious food to dogs, and acknowledge the cherished relationship between humans and dogs.
The garlands are a sign of respect for the animals.
The thought of this beautiful festival is lightening the heavy hearts of dog lovers everywhere.
The images honoring these animals are truly breathtaking.
With red powder, the dogs are marked on their foreheads as a sign of sacredness.
Dogs in Hindu Dharma
Dogs in many vedic verses have been referred as a Sarama, the mother of all dogs. In Rig Veda, the role of Dog as a protector is acknowledged when lord Indra sends the Sarama in search of missing cows.
Dogs are considered as mounts (Vahan) of Bhairava, the fearsome form of Lord Shiva. Hindu dharma also shows the connection of dogs with Lord Dattatreya, an incarnation of the trimurti.
In popular epic, Mahabharata, Lord Yama had taken the form of a Dog to accompany Yudhistira during their final journey. He was testing the dharma of the Pandavas. Many consider that feeding black dogs and behaving good with them will remove the extreme malefic effects of the planet Saturn and Rahu.