Nepal Festival Honors the Bond Between Humans and Canines

Nepal Festival Honors the Bond Between Humans and Canines

Dog receives food offerings during Kukur Tihar Festival

The people of Nepal love dogs so much that they especially honor us during the Diwali Festival of Lights…

Nepal’s Kukur Tihar Festival (Diwali for Dogs)

Notice the holy red tikka paste that adorns paws and forehead, in celebration of Kukur Tihar, or Diwali for Dogs. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The people of Nepal love dogs so much that they especially honor us during the Diwali Festival of Lights. That’s when everyone remembers that light triumphs over dark and good triumphs over evil — which is my philosophy, exactly!

(Based on my own keen canine observations, I can tell you: a strong dose of sunlight zaps stinky, sicky germs, with almost no odor left behind.)

Nepalis celebrate Kukur Tihar (Diwlali for Dogs) because they believe we canines guard the gates of heaven. I cannot argue with that, so…

Does that make me Hindu or Buddhist? They both celebrate the Festival of Lights!

Now, almost everyone in my own neighborhood is Christian or Atheist. They don’t like the same tail-wagging days (despite the odd overlap). Christians celebrate Merry Christmas day and Atheists celebrate their day on Happy Holidays. Personally, I will be Methodist by Christmas Eve. (The nice church lady across the street bakes homemade gourmet treats for my stocking!)

At the festival in Nepal, both pet dogs and stray dogs are adorned with flower garlands and given all the food they can eat. It’s like a buffet — where dogs get to choose from their favorite foods: milk, eggs, meat, high-quality dog food, or “anything that one likes.” I would find the Rice Krispie Treat table. (Hopefully, made with real but-ter.)

Happy Diwali!

SEE & LEARN MORE: Photos: Festival That Thanks Dogs for Being Our Friends | Antimedia

(My friend Decker at Dispatches from the Asylum told me about Nepal’s Kukur Tihar Festival.)

Dogs Around The World: Nepal | Bark

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Written by
JoAnn Chateau

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JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about Chester, the Alpha Bichon -- with a dash of humor and a dab of Poli-Sci. Her views and insights are tinted by a former profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and training in Library and Information Science. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


Chester is a scruffy little Bichon dog, with a congenial Napoleon Complex, and stars in "The Chester Chronicles." He sometimes reports independent Canine News -- NO corporate treats accepted, NO corporate bias. Woof!

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