Inside 'Day of the Dogs,' a Hindu Festival in Nepal Dedicated to Our Furry Friends
You’ve probably heard of a dog day afternoon. But for dogs in Nepal and parts of India, they get way more than an afternoon – they get a whole day.
According to the BBC, the five-day Nepalese Hindu festival of Tihar started this week, with Tuesday marking Kukur Puja, or the “Day of the Dogs.” On that day, dogs in the community are adorned with garlands and treated to the best of everything. During the festivities, pups also received a tilaka, a red mark on the forehead, as a highly special honor. Even stray dogs — who are still very good boys — are given tribute during the day, according to the BBC.
As Geek.com explained, the pups get the royal treatment because canines are considered the messengers of Yama, the Hindu god of death. Dedicating the day to loveable pups is seen as appeasing the god. And, Heads Up for Tails noted, dogs are also famously mentioned in the Hindu text Mahabharata, in which Yudhishthira, the king of righteousness, refused to enter heaven without his dog. (Who else finds this highly relatable?)
But, puppies aren’t the only animals honored during the celebration. On the first day of Tihar, the crow is worshiped with the Crow Festival. The third day is dedicated to cows in the morning and then to Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, in the evening. The fourth day is known as Govardhan Puja. Depending on your background there are three ways to celebrate this day: Worship of the oxen, worship of the mountain, or worship of the self. And on the fifth and final day, sisters dedicate the day to their brothers. At this time they give them a tilaka to ensure long life.
It’s not just Nepali and Indian people who celebrated their canine friends during the Day of the Dogs. People around the world decided to take part by paying tribute to their furry companions and posting adorable photos on social media too. Keep scrolling to check out some of the best damn doggos on the planet.