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“Celebrating Kukur Tihar: A Heartwarming Tribute to Dogs in Tihar, Deepawali’s Festival of Lights”

Kukur Tihar, or Kukur Puja, is a distinctive celebration that forms a part of the larger Hindu festivals of Tihar, also known as Deepawali, the festival of lights. Rooted in Nepalese tradition, this unique festival reserves a special day within the Tihar celebrations to honor dogs, emphasizing the sacred connection between humans and these loyal animals as recognized in Hinduism. Dogs are considered sacred beings, believed to share a profound bond with humans, guiding them on their spiritual journey.

The festivities of Kukur Tihar involve showering dogs with love and special gestures. Each canine receives a flower garland or “malla” around its neck, and its forehead is adorned with a sacred paste called “talik” or “tikka,” made from red-colored powder, rice, and yogurt. This ceremonial marking symbolizes the revered status of dogs. The celebration includes a feast for the dogs, featuring an assortment of treats such as fruit, cookies, eggs, milk, cheese, meat, and high-quality dog food.

Notably, Kukur Tihar extends its inclusive festivities to all dogs, regardless of whether they are domesticated or stray. Even police dogs in Nepal are not excluded; they are given a day off and participate in a special march dedicated to honoring the occasion.

For those fortunate enough to be in Kathmandu during Deepawali or Tihar, which typically falls in late October or early November, witnessing these heartwarming celebrations offers a glimpse into the rich cultural history and the deep reverence for the relationship between humans and dogs in Nepalese tradition.

Also Read: “Unveiling the Magic of Tihar: A Radiant Journey into Nepal’s Second-Largest Festival of Lights, Culture, and Traditions”



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