Each year in Nepal, a very special tradition takes place.
It’s called Tihar, and is the Nepalese way of celebrating Diwali. Each day the day the festival is dedicated to honouring different animals and thanking them for all they do.
Yesterday was the day of the dog, also known as Kukur Puja.
Yep, that means a festival was held purely for the celebration of dogs.
Very good pups are presented with floral garlands – a mark of respect – and tika, a mix of red dye, yoghurt, and rice that is applied to the dogs’ foreheads. They’re given delicious food, including specially made desserts, and are encouraged to eat as much food as they like on this day.
Food and garlands are given to all dogs in the area, including strays, who are treated like kings for the day.
People flock to thank dogs for all that they have done for humans, from the dogs mentioned in ancient texts (such as the dog said to guard the gates of the afterlife) to street dogs who bring us joy on a tough day.
It’s a lovely tradition, basically, and one we can all celebrate by giving our dogs a treat, a stroke, and by treating them with the love and respect they deserve.
Take a look at some proud pups enjoying Kukur Puja below.