“Kukur Tihar,” or “the festival of dogs,” is being celebrated in every household in pet friendly Nepal today, to mark the second day of Yamapanchak of the Tihar festival. Yamapanchak is celebrated as a symbol of philosophy of co-existence of human beings with all other living things existing in nature by worshiping the crow, dog, cow and oxen since ancient times, as part of Nepali culture. The second day is dedicated entirely to dogs.
Dogs, known for being the trustworthy sentry as well as faithful companion for man since ancient times, are worshiped once a year on this day as a Yamadoot, or messenger of Yamaraj, the God of death.
In a mythological story told by the Nepalese, a dog accompanied Dharmaraj Yudhisthir (a former mythological ruler) on his journey to heaven and ever since has had a close relationship with mankind.
On this day in Nepal, they worship dogs by putting garlands around their necks and offer delicious food to the dogs.
Import requirements for Nepal are similar to those of India—an import permit is required for pets going as cargo. If they travel as accompanied baggage, they do not require an import permit but the pet must be listed on the baggage form for customs.
If you are moving to Nepal, be sure to mark this day on your calendar for next year so you’ll remember to run out and get Fido a special treat!!
For a slideshow of photos from the puppy festival, check out the BBC News page.