Nepal: Locals Observe ‘Kukur Tihar’ One Day Ahead of Diwali, a Festival Dedicated to Dogs
Locals pay respects to a number of animals during the five-day Tihar. (Photo Credit: ANI)

Kathmandu, November 06: One day ahead of Diwali, locals in Nepal celebrated Kukur Tihar- a festival dedicated to dogs. Dogs and crows are considered sacred in Nepali culture; the day prior to Kukur Tihar is called Kaag Tihar and involves paying respects to the bird.

According to a local resident, Indralaxmi Tandukar, the tradition Kukur Tohar is an age-old one. "It is a tradition that was inherited from our ancestors. These dogs are associated with Lord Bhairav," said Indralaxmi. Stray Dogs in Chennai Walked the Ramp For an Adoption Drive, View Cute Pics From The Great Indian Dog Show!

People offered garlands and applied vermillion to stray dogs early in the morning, apart from feeding them. Another local, Keshav said, "We worship dogs as they guard our houses". There are many stories behind this day, and one of them is detailed in the Rigveda. According to the tale, the celebration came into existence after Samara, the mother of all dogs, assisted Indra, the ruler of heaven, in retrieving stolen cattle. Also, according to the Hindu epic, Mahabharata, a dog accompanied Dharmaraj Yudhisthir to heaven.

Locals pay respects to a number of animals during the five-day Tihar.

The third day of Tihar is dedicated to cows and the fourth day to oxen. A Lakshmi Puja is also performed on the same day.

On the final day, Bhaidooj or Bhatika is celebrated, which officially concludes Tihar. On this day, sisters put a tilak on the forehead of their brothers to wish them a long life. Every year, Tihar or Diwali is celebrated from Trayodashi of Krishna Paksha (13th day of the waning moon in the month of Kartik) to Kartik Shukla Dwitya (2nd day of waxing moon).