Flickr | Wolf Gordon Clifton, Animal People, Inc.

Nepal Has An Annual Festival Day Dedicated To Thanking Dogs For Loving Us

Amy Pilkington 9 Jan 2020

Dogs are the best, aren't they? Sure, other domesticated pets are awesome too, but there is something very special about the connection between humans and canines.

I'll admit to absolutely spoiling my own doggy duo, but that's hardly unusual. Lots of people spoil the heck out of their pets.

But in Nepal there is an annual Hindu festival that truly appreciates what dogs have brought to humanity.

Flickr | Wolf Gordon Clifton, Animal People, Inc.

Kukur Tihar (also called Khicha Puja) is the second day of Tihar, a five-day festival of lights.

What makes it unique among Hindu festivals is that alongside showing reverence for elders and gods, certain special animals are also celebrated.

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There is a day for crows and ravens, and a morning dedicated to cows.

Flickr | Wolf Gordon Clifton, Animal People, Inc.

But dogs get a whole day to themselves. Besides their long history with humans, Hinduism believes they are messengers from Yama, the god of death.

There are also many ancient tales of dogs helping humans. Because they are all good boys and girls.

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On Kukur Tihar dogs are honored with tilaka, a red mark on their forehead.

Flickr | Wolf Gordon Clifton, Animal People, Inc.

They're also given garlands of flowers to wear, and of course, lots of tasty food. Besides the highest quality dog food, pooches are also given milk, eggs, and meat.

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Don't forget the stray dogs, either.

Flickr | Wolf Gordon Clifton, Animal People, Inc.

The day isn't just about spoiling family pets. Even strays are given the same love, attention, and thanks.

In the last few years, as the festival has become well-known, it's not just Nepali or Hindu people celebrating. We can all appreciate an excuse to shower our pups with the reverence they deserve.

h/t: Travel + Leisure, BBC

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