In Nepal, there is one day put aside per year to celebrate dogs and only dogs. And we think Thar needs to spread globally.
Tihar is a five-day-long Hindu festival — also known as “Diwali,” or the “festival of lights” — that takes place in Nepal.
What’s unique about Tihar are the three days that specifically honor animals: Kaag Tihar (crows and ravens), Kukur Tihar (dogs), and Gai Tihar and Laxmi Puja (cow).
Each animal is deeply symbolic in Hinduism. The crow represents sadness and grief, a cow represents prosperity and wealth, and dogs are present in Hindu mythology and celebrated for their relationship with humans. Many powerful gods in Hindu mythology had dogs by their sides, and dogs are believed to guard the gates of heaven and hell.
Kukur Tihar is the second day of the festival and the one that celebrates dogs. People make flower garlands for the dogs to wear, and apply powder on their heads.
Called “tika,” the powdered mark recognizes the dogs as sacred. The garlands symbolize the bond between dogs and humans.
The rest of the world should definitely be adopting Kukur Tihar. We’d all be better off if we spent an entire day celebrating dogs and their loyalty.