In Nepal, as well as in parts of India, there is a special celebration that honors dogs. It’s called Tihar, and it’s a 5-day autumn festival of lights. During this time there is gift-giving, storytelling, and recognition of the relations humans have with all things.
The second day of this festival is Kukur Tihar, a day dedicated to all dogs.
Dogs are especially important in the Hindu tradition. Samar – the mother of dogs – assisted the ruler of heaven in retrieving stolen cattle. And it is a dog who is said to guard the gates of the afterlife.
On Kukur Tihar dogs wear garlands which announce their importance.
A red mark is applied to the forehead of each dog, which marks it as righteous and an object of devotion.
But what dogs, no doubt, like best about this festival is the food. Food offerings are put out for dogs in the home, as well as strays on the street.
This is a day when dogs have the best of everything!