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Kukur Tihar Festival and Hindu's Conviction to Dog Worship

Updated on September 29, 2017

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

Animal Worship During Tihar Festival
Animal Worship During Tihar Festival

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 worship of Dog
The worship of Dog | Source

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.

Dog worship festival of Nepal (Kukur Tihar)
Dog worship festival of Nepal (Kukur Tihar)

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.

Dogs In Hindu methodology
Dogs In Hindu methodology

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

Dog worship in Nepal
Dog worship in Nepal | Source

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

© 2017 ARADHYA


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    Post Comment
    • srai01 profile imageAUTHOR


      22 months ago

      Dogs, wolves and almost all the canines drools.

      Don't wonder even Human also drools sometime

    • tritrain profile image

      And Drewson 

      22 months ago from United States

      Dogs drool, er, I mean rule!

    • anusha15 profile image

      Anusha Jain 

      22 months ago from Delhi, India

      Almost all the Hindus in India, including me, celebrate Diwali by worshipping the goddess of wealth, Laxmi. So this came as quite a surprise. The cultural diversities in the same religion are just another indicative of the rich and beautiful heritage we have got. A great post with some very beautiful pictures.

    • srai01 profile imageAUTHOR


      23 months ago

      Dogs are worshiped in Nepal & Some part of India by Hindus, But not in China and Korea. And not only Chinese and Korean any other people in diff countries dog meat

    • peachpurple profile image


      23 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      wow, even dogs are worshipped! I wonder why the China and Koreans eat dog meats....really don't understand


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