Kukur Tihar Festival and Hindu's Conviction to Dog Worship
The Tihar Festival of Nepal
Kukur Tihar is the dog worship festival of Nepal. The Nepalese Hindus believe that the dogs are messengers of the death god "Yamaraj" (Also known as "Yama").
And the Kukur Tihar festival is celebrated to appease Yama. Kukur Tihar, festival is celebrated every year on the next day of "Tihar". Tihar festival is the most precious, the biggest and the brightest, five-day celebration of Hindus of Nepal that is also known as Diwali, or Dipawali. The festival is observed to mark the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.
The Animal Worship, Tihar Festival of Nepal
Tihar celebration occurs annually in the month of October or November, the dates are dependent on the Hindu lunar calendar and Kukur Tihar, festival is celebrated every year on the next day of "Tihar".
3 days of the 5 day celebration are dedicated to cows, crows and dogs (one day for each).
The Five days of Tihar,
1. Kaag Tihar (Worship of the crow)
2. Kukur Tihar (Worship of the dog)
3. Gai Tihar (Worship of the cow)
4. Goru Tihar or Govardhan Pooja (Worship of the cattle)
5. Bhai Tika, Bhai Dooj - Bother and Sister Pooja
Kukur Tihar, The Dog Worship
The Kukur Tihar is celebrated on 2nd day of Tihar festival, of Nepal and some of the Indian states, Assam, West Bengal and Sikkim and Darjeeling. On the occasion of Kukur Tihar, People make a colourful Rangoli at his house entrance, by using garland, Rive, flower to make a house entrance a sacred welcoming area for their god and goddess.
And at the second half of the day, is dedicated to expressing the thanks to the dogs for their loyalty and companionship. Dogs are offered garlands of flowers, draped around their neck and delicious dishes. People visit stray and shelters to feed, recognize and honor the dogs.
The national dog worship celebration of Nepal
Tihar is the national festival of Nepal, and a national holiday for 5 days. Tihar celebration happens in either November or October, varying year to year. The festival date is decided by the Nepali calendar that’s also known as Bikram Sambat Nepali calendar and Nepali Patro. Nepali calendar is approximately 56 years and 8 and months ahead of the English Calendar known as Gregorian Calendar or AD.
Dogs In Hindu methodology
Dogs are implicated a respected creatures in Hinduism, which are acknowledged as” Shvan” in Sanskrit and have couple of manifestation in Vedic (ancient) and later Hindu mythologies. They are worshiped on the day of kukur Tihar in Nepal and some states of India.
Hindus Convictions to dog worship and honor to the dogs
The following are the Hindus trusts, to anticipate the dogs are the holy creature:
1. The story of Kal Bhairav and his dog
Hindus believe the dog was the Vahana (vehicle) of the Hindu god Bhairava, who was an aspect if Hindu supreme Lord Shiva. And some Hindus believe that the dogs are an incarnation of Bhairav, and they are a respected animal in Hindu methodology.
2. The Hindu's Lord Yama and his dog
Hindus believes that the dogs are the messengers of Lord Yama (the god of death) that also guard the gate of afterlife. And the god Yama, is guarded by two dogs, each have four eyes and known as Sarameyas. Some Hindus also believes, it has reference in the ancient holy Hindu book of the Rig Veda that these dogs are the offspring of Apsara of Indra (The king of gods).
3. The Yudhisthira’s dog's tale, from the book of Mahabharata
The ancient Kings Yudhishthira and his brothers (Pandavas) decided to surrender their kingdom to their legatees and go for their last journey – Sanyasa and Vanaprastha. They started their journey with their wife and followed by a Dog. The legend king “Yudhishthira” lost one by one, to his wife and brothers on the journey, he was left alone in the company of his dog.
Then the god Indra (The king of god's and heaven) appeared to take Yudhishtira to carry-out in the human form. Then the king Yudhishtira, asks to take the Dog with him to a chariot, but the god Indra denied. Then the king denied to chariot without his dog, he requested to take his honest, devoted and loyal dog to the chariot. But at last the god was not convinced, then king denied to go to the chariot. And then the dog, converted in the form of human. Actually, he was the god "Dharma", the God of righteousness and was taking the examination of righteousness loyalty to the king.
4. Indra (The king of Hindu gods) and his dog
The Hindu believes that the Lord Indra (the king of the god's) has a dog, named Sarama to help the gods in recovering the cows stolen by demons.
Kukur Tihar, Celebration Day
Tihar Festival, starts in Baishakh (July), and ends in Chaitra. The Tihar celebration begins with Kaag Tihar in Trayodashi of Kartik Krishna Paksha and Kukur Tihar happen on the next day of Kag Tihar. Usually falls in the month of October 15 - November 15th, every year. Below are the celebration dates for this year and next year.
Tihar Festival, "October 10–November 14"
Kukur Tihar (Worship of dog), October 11th
Tihar Festival: "October 28–November 1"
Kukur Tihar (Worship of dog), October 29th
Tihar Festival: "October 15–October 19"
Kukur Tihar (Worship of dog), October 16th
Tihar Festival: "November 5–November 9"
Kukur Tihar (Worship of dog), November 6th
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