In Nepal, dogs are gods for today: All you need to know about 'Kukkur Tihar'

The Himalayan country of Nepal is celebrating Kukkur Tihar on Tuesday, a festival that offers prayers to dogs for a day. It is part of the five-day Tihar festival.

According to The Himalayan Times: "Today, dogs are worshipped and offered food. A dog is the most loyal friend to human beings and it is also regarded as the symbol of Yama, the deity of death." Kukkur is the Nepali word for dog

The Tihar festival starts off with the Kaag Tihar, where the crow is prayed to prevent any bad omens particularly death in the family. The Kaag is the Nepali word for crow.

"On the second day, celebrated as Kukkur Tihar, or worship of the dog, seven lamps are lit and the following day, which marks Gaai Tihar or worship of the cow, groups of women go from house to house singing, as goddess Lakshmi too is worshipped on this occasion," a report in The Deccan Chronicle said.

What follows on the fourth day is called the Govardhan Puja.

The Himalayan Times said: "Likewise, a small hillock made out of cow dung (representative of Govardhan Parbat) is worshipped on the fourth day of the festival called Govardhan Puja. People from the Newar community celebrate the fourth day of Yama Panchak as Mha Puja (worship of oneself). The day is also the beginning of Nepal Sambat calendar."

The Tihar festival ends with Bhai Tika or Bhai Dooj, where brothers and sisters apply vermilion to each other to mark the auspicious occasion.

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Updated Date: Nov 06, 2018 14:52:28 IST

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