As we all know, Nepal is essentially a Hindu country and there too, Diwali is a 5-day celebration. But along with the lights and crackers, did you know that the second day of Diwali, the dogs are celebrated.
Known as “Kukur Tihar” or “day of dogs”, this day the four-legged friend of the humans is worshipped. Not just the ones at home as pets but even strays are showered with flowers, adorned with garlands and tilak or gulal. After a ceremonial puja, they are treated to milk, eggs, meat, dog food or anything they like.
This worshipping of the dog comes from our mythological stories; one where Yudhistira refused to enter the gates of heaven without the loyal dog which followed him all along. Other stories also give a lot of importance to dogs - Samsara, the mother of dogs, assists Indra in recovering his stolen cattle. Bhairava, an avatar of Lord Shiva, uses a dog as his steed. Yamraj, the God of Death, also has two watchdogs who guard the gates of hell.
Actually, all days of Diwali, one or the other animal is worshipped. First day it is the crow, second, we we mentioned is the dog; third day it is the cow in the morning ; fourth day it is an array – oxen, mountains, rivers and all those life giving elements.
Respecting animals; its an idea worth adopting, what say?