While we believe that a dog is a man’s best friend and we treat them like family, the Nepali people show their love for dogs in a totally large-scale manner.
They have a one-day portion of their Tihar (known as Diwali to most) festival solely to appreciate and love on dogs.
The second day of their five-day festival is called Kukur Tihar. The dogs are special in Hindu mythology which is the reason for this royal treatment on this particular day. Dogs served to be guards and loyal companions to other gods in their mythology and true to the myth, dogs are one of the most loyal and most loving creatures in the animal kingdom.
Dogs are fed with great food, marked with colorful tika on their foreheads and clothed with flower garlands around their necks. Most people mark their dogs with red tika since red symbolizes power but there are some who use yellow. They also shower them with flower petals as a sign of respect and love. The dog owners take this day to worship dogs which many of their ancestors did in the past.
Kukur Tihar is, although too religious for some, a great way for the Indians and Nepali to show their love for dogs. Though initially meant as an act of worship, people can express their own love for their dogs. Kukur Tihar should not be a once a year celebration as every dog lover would agree.
Loyal companions should be loved and cared for every single day of their lives and cherished when they are no longer around. A dog’s love language isn’t complicated at all. A few minutes of fetch or playtime, a bath, a hug or even as simple as a treat is more than enough for them to know they are loved. The fact they have a home and a family who loves them is already the world to them. Then again, it wouldn’t hurt to get this cultural experience with your four-legged best friend!