20 Facts About Dog Festival (Kukur Puja) of Tihar You May Not Know


20 Facts About Dog Festival (Kukur Puja) in Tihar You May Not Know

Here is an article with photo about kukur tihar in Deepawali festival of Nepal. Tihar ( तिहार in the Nepali language) is the 2nd biggest festival of Nepal. After Dashain, Tihar is the major and important festival of Nepal.

Tihar is also known as Deepawali in Terai region of Nepal and Deepawali and Diwali in India. Tihar / Deepawali / Diwali is a five-day long Hindu and Buddist festival celebrated in Nepal.Tihar comes 20 days after Dashain festival (from the day of Dashami) of Nepal.

Tihar / Deepawali / Diwali starts with Kaag Puja (worship of crow) and ends with Bhai Tika. The 2nd day of Tihar is Kukur Tihar, a day to respect and worship the dog.

The Nepali celebration Tihar is likewise referred to by many names, for example, Dipawali or Bhai Tika or Laxmi Puja or as a celebration of lights. It is a five-day celebration, which comes not long after the Dashain Festival, and Tihar is tied in with worshiping of various creatures, for example, crow, dog, dairy animals, and worshiping of the Hindu Goddess of Fortune or Wealth (Goddess Laxmi), and cooking awesome suppers at home, siblings and sisters looking for blessings, flying kites, beautifying homes and roads, playing cards with companions, resting and unwinding, lastly finishing the celebration with a trade of a unique transitory stamp on temple (tika in Nepali).

The most recent day of the celebration is known as Tika day or prominently known as Bhai Tika day (Bhai in Nepali means Brother). To total up Tihar celebration, Tihar is the celebration when sisters wish a long life to their siblings (Bhai)!

Tihar is a celebration for siblings and sisters, however, what in the event that you are a sibling without a sister without a sibling. Indeed, you can influence one by tolerating somebody to near you in your relatives. In the case of nothing works, you discover one among your companions and neighbors, it turns out to be near as though it was genuine.

Whomever you made your sister or sibling remain so forever, and every year this celebration makes your bond more grounded. Tihar is a celebration of sisters wishing a long life to their siblings, and Tihar is the most prominent celebration in Nepal. So clutch your topi (cap), heaps of energy and fun are coming at you now!

Happy Kukur Tihar Greetings Cards Image
Kukur Tihar Wishes Image

There are five days in the Hindu celebration of lights called Diwali, or Tihar, as it is known by Nepalese local people. Everyday commends an alternate creature, and November tenth, the second day of the celebration, respects dogs.

They are improved and given a devour fit for eminence – even road dogs! Diwali is commended with blazes, candles, pixie lights, diyas (conventional earthen lights), and rangolis (customary floor craftsmanship). Loved ones assemble, sharing their satisfaction, nourishment, and blessings with each other.

The second day, Kukur Tihar (Khichā Pujā) is put aside for dogs, which are accepted to be envoys of the Lord Yamaraj, the divine force of death. Yamaraj is said to have two dogs – Shyam and Sadal – that monitor the passageway to hellfire.

There is an extremely uncommon connection amongst individuals and dogs, as they were one of the primaries tamed creatures, so they are brightened with festoons and tika (stamps on the brow), which makes each of them holy and enables them to favor every one of those they experience on this day. They are dealt with to piles of flavorful nourishment. Pets and road dogs alike are honored and spoiled for the duration of the day.

“Every dog has its day” is a popular quote that we all come across in our daily lives. In Nepal, this quote is put into practice every year on a special day dedicated to dogs known as “Kukur Tihar.” Etymologically, the word “Kukur” is a Nepali word which means “a dog.”

And, Tihar is the second largest festival of Nepal also referred to as Yama Panchak/Deepawali which is celebrated in the month of November every year and is identified as the ‘festival of lights.

How is Kukur Tihar celebrated?

Kukur Tihar is the second day of the festival wherein dogs are worshipped as the protectors of the house. On this auspicious occasion, dogs are worshipped as gods. The festival does not apply to domestic dogs only.

Even the dogs working in public service as well as the street dogs are worshipped on this day. People put tika (a red mark on the forehead that symbolizes celebration and victory) and offer garlands (also referred to as “Maala” in Nepali) to dogs in order to honor their essence in human lives.

Also, the dogs are offered with delicious foods as a form of gratitude to cherish the precious bond between humans and dogs.

What is the background that justifies the celebration of Kukur Tihar?

From a religious perspective, dogs hold a prominent place in Hindu mythology. As underlined in the holy Hindu scripture, Mahabharata, dog was a persistent vehicle or a mode of transportation used by Bhairava who is regarded as a ferocious representation of Lord Shiva.

The ancient text, Rigveda also reads that Samara (identified as the mother of dogs) had helped Lord Indra to retain his stolen cattle. Similarly, Yama, the Lord of Death, is known to have owned two dogs i.e. Shyam and Sadal- each having four eyes.

The dogs were believed to guard over the doors of hell (also referred to as “Narka” in Hindu mythology). Thus, Kukur Tihar is also celebrated as “Naraka Chaturdashi” in many districts of Nepal.

Significance of Kukur Tihar or Dog Puja

– It’s believed that dogs will sense the death of somebody still as sense endangers.
– Once crow, it’s aforementioned that the Yamuna sent dog as her representative to Hindu deity.
– The attachment between humans and dogs.
– In epic Mahabharata, a dog follows Pandavas throughout their journey to death and later the dog reveals himself as Hindu deity. So, some represent dog itself as Hindu deity.

Celebration of Dog Puja or Kukur Tihar

– Individuals supply garlands, tilak and delicious food to dogs.
– Individuals acknowledge their relationship with dogs.
– Followers of Vaishnavism, celebrate nowadays as a success of avatar over Narakaasur.

5 reasons behind celebrating Kukur Tihar in Nepal

  1. Dogs are worshipped for their everyday roles in human lives. They protect people’s houses round the clock like an alert security guard. Scriptures also evince the assistance offered by dogs to Gods.
  2. Kukur Tihar is an instance of how Hindus respect the existence of other creatures in the planet. The festival demonstrates how ceremonies do not have to be human-centric all the time.
  3. Worshipping dogs reflects the gratitude of people towards dogs and strengthens the never-ending relationship between humans and dogs.
  4. Similarly, it is also believed that keeping the dogs happy will appease Yama, the deity of Death. This will secure the entire family from untimely death.
  5. Dogs are honored for the help that they provide in state-level functions such as criminal investigations.

Kukur Tihar, an example for the world

Where violence against dogs has become a global issue and people are organizing campaigns to eliminate it by all means, Kukur Tihar celebrated in Nepal outstands as a festival that respects the lives of dogs and honors their impact in human society. It would be highly significant to take note of Mexico here.

Kukur Tihar celebrations had begun in Mexico in 2016 being inspired from the Nepali festival. Although there is no such religious significance of the occasion, Mexicans have started worshipping dogs to express gratefulness towards them and create awareness among people about the sufferings caused by their abandonment.

In 2017, Kukur Tihar was celebrated in Puerto Vallarata, Mexico by paying tribute to a rescue dog involved in earthquake. The event recognized the contributions made by dogs in saving human lives during the catastrophe.

Special march of dogs in Nepal during Kukur Tihar

In order to acknowledge the role of dogs in the process of various criminal investigations, Nepali police personnel organize a parade of dogs on the day of Kukur Tihar at the Central Police Dog Training School in Kathmandu every year and worship them accordingly.

The police personnel stand on the march along with the dogs to pay respect to them. This shows the extent to which dogs have been helping humans in their day-to-day lives.

A message that gods need not be sought in stones and idols

When assessed from an objective lens, this practice is praiseworthy in the sense that it challenges a materialistic perspective that seeks for faith in temples, idols and stones.

This festival protrudes a positive message that living beings can be worshipped too as a vital part of the nature. Any living object that helps humans in so many ways can be thanked by visualizing their image as of God.

What needs to be done to make the festival more dog-friendly?

Although this festival is meant to celebrate dogs and their existence, a crucial part of this festival must be reconsidered here. Tika, made of colors, which is put on the dogs’ forehead, may be harmful to them.

The dogs may be allergic to those colors. Therefore, special care and attention needs to be taken while worshipping them.

20 facts about Kukur Tihar or Dog Puja:-

  1. Within the beyond few years, the Yulin dog festival in China has made rounds on social media. All through that point, dogs, are tortured and eaten. However, this culture has gotten the eye of the sector. Humans are now signing petitions with a goal to stop this festival.
  2. As the ordinary festival went viral, many diverted their attention to every other birthday party that honors animals inside the best viable manner—Nepal’s Kukur Tihar pageant.
  3. Tihar, one of the exquisite celebrations in the Hindu calendar, is a five-day autumn pageant usually called the competition of lights.
  1. Kukur Tihar is dedicated to thanking puppies for their friendship and carrier.
  2. Nepalese Hinduism is precise in dedicating the second one day of Tihar, Kukur Tihar, to the worship of puppies.
  3. Puppies are particularly critical to Nepal’s Hindu practitioners in every painting in not unusual.
  1. All through the day of Tihar, Kukur Tihar, and the role of dogs in human life and during records are celebrated.
  2. In the Rig-Veda, one in all Hinduism’s most historical texts, Samara — the mother of puppies — assists Indra, the ruler of heaven, in retrieving stolen cattle.
  3. Hindu tradition holds that a dog is the dad or mum and messenger of Yama.
  1. Human beings offer garlands, Tika and delicious meals to dogs and renowned the loved courting between human beings and puppies. In dog pics, you’ll observe a wreath of flowers hanging around the neck of every dog. This floral necklace, called a malla, is a mark of admiring and dignity. It declares the wearer as vital and symbolizes the prayers that go together with the dog.
  2. Like the mala that garlands the neck, the pink Tika marks the dog as both a devotee of the righteous direction and as an object of devotion. The Tika imbues the dog with an air of sacredness and acts as a blessing to people who encounter the dog at some stage in Kukur Tihar.
  3. The Tika also works as a manner of letting puppies display their own appreciation because the mark serves as a blessing to anyone who encounters the dog throughout Tihar.
  1. Prayers and plants are without a doubt first-rate, however as far as puppies are involved, their favorite a part of Kukur Tihar need to be the meals.
  2. Yama, the god of death, is assumed to very own two protect dogs – every with four eyes.
  3. The dogs are stated to observe over the gates of Naraka, the Hindu concept of Hell.
  1. Due to the notion that “puppies are stated to watch over the gates of Naraka”, at the moment is likewise found as Naraka Chaturdashi.
  2. As referred to in the Mahabharata, Bhairav, a fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva, had a dog as a vehicle.
  3. The dog is discovered to represent the idea of dharma, the path of righteousness.
  1. In the day of Kukur Tihar, human beings from Kathmandu typically adopt road dogs to worship and they again take them lower back to a road next day.
  2. In step with the records gathered by way of pet shops of Kathmandu, they said that “the number of people shopping for dogs in Tihar increases through double than usual”.

Concluding remarks

Kukur Tihar is therefore, an influential festival celebrated in Nepal wherein dogs are praised for their loyalty towards humans. All dogs whether domestic or street-grown, get fair treatment and respect on this day.

Thus, this festival teaches a meaningful lesson about how every living being on earth has a significant impact in our lives and how they must be honored for their contributions.

If harsh practices of sacrificing animals and birds in the name of ceremonies are abolished, this ritual can be fairly taken as an example to be adopted by other nations of the world. Mexico has already been celebrating it as a part of their festival for past three years now which should also be taken into account.

Kukur Puja (Kukur Pooja) in Tihar Festival of Nepal


Jitendra Sahayogee

I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a writer of 12 Nepali literature books, film director of Maithili film & Nepali short movies, photographer, founder of the media house, designer of some websites and writer & editor of some blogs, has expert knowledge & experiences of Nepalese society, culture, tourist places, travels, business, literature, movies, festivals, celebrations.

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