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Also known as the “Festival of Lights”, Diwali is one of the most important celebrations on the Hindu calendar. For 5 days, adherents of such a religion remember stories, celebrate their cultural traditions and recognize the relationships of human beings with the rest of the world. It is a time to give gifts to those who love you and thank life.

However, although it is a common custom of such a belief, each region that adopts it has its particularities - and today we will speak specifically about Nepal, a country where the festival is known as Tihar. There, each day of the festival has a distinct theme - and the second of them, known as Kukur Tihar, aims specifically to worship dogs, whether domestic or street.

During Kukur Tihar, the mythological and social relationship between dogs and humans is celebrated with homage to our four-legged companions. Each of them receives a flower necklace called malla, which is a mark of dignity and respect. Such a prop symbolizes the importance of its "user", as it carries all the prayers of the Nepalese population to them.

In addition, a red mark - known as tika - is made on the forehead of all dogs. It is a statement that animals are an object of devotion, made with a mixture of coloring powder, rice and yogurt. Finally, food is distributed in abundance to canines, both inside houses and on the streets. High quality milk, eggs and meat are served.

Mythological beings

If you are finding such a strange festival, know that dogs have always had a prominent place in Nepal's mythology. In Rigveda, one of the oldest sacred texts in Hinduism, the figure of Samara - mother of dogs - is recurrent, helping the population in cases such as cattle theft. Furthermore, the Hindu tradition sees dogs as Yama's guardian and messenger, who would be equivalent to the god of death.

It is also said that dogs guard the gates of the afterlife, and in a passage from the book "Mahabharata", Yudhishthira, the king of Justice, refuses to enter heaven unaccompanied by his faithful dog. According to some scholars, this reveals that these animals represent the concept of dharma, the path of justice.

However, it is worth noting that dogs are not the only animals to be worshiped during Tihar. Over the other four days, the people of Nepal also pay tribute to crows, cows and oxen.

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