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Dog Worship in Nepal

Updated on December 27, 2016
Dog Worship in NEPAL
Dog Worship in NEPAL | Source

The oldest human companions are always admired for their devotion and honesty. But KUKUR TIHAR Festival (Every year in OCT/NOV) of NEPAL, is the only occasion when they are being treated as a god that You may like to know about.

Dog Worship in Nepal
Dog Worship in Nepal | Source


The festival When Dogs are worshiped

Kukur Tihar is a festival when man’s best friends are worshiped for being faithful and loyal companions. Usually the Tihar festival is celebrated during five days Diwali festival of Hindus. During this festival Nepali people honor their dedicated and social animals, including cows, crows and dogs.


Respect of Dogs in Hinduism

Dogs were highly regarded in Hindu religion. They have presence in history from 400 BC onwards. They were admired for their loyalty and well appreciated for their sincerity and dedication and have their special presence in Hindu religion. According to the ancient holy book Rigveda, The Samara — the mother of dogs — assists Indra, the ruler of heaven, in retrieving stolen cattle. And according to Hindu believe the dog is the guardian and messenger of Yama, the lord and judge of the dead and also guard the gates of the afterlife.

Hindu Sadhus With their  Dogs
Hindu Sadhus With their Dogs


The TIHAR festival of NEPAL is, 5 days Hindu’s Festival of lights. They lit lights and diya inside and outside the houses and make Rangoli outside of the house and they worship their GOD and the animals like cows, cows and dogs who maintain an intense relationship with humans.

Usually it’s celebrated in the Month of October/November (usually in between 15th Oct to 15th Nov). The KUKUR TIHAR festival is celebrated after, on 2nd Day of 5 days TIHAR, Nepali (DIWALI - HINDUs) Festival.

  • Last year, it was celebrated on Nov. 10th 2015
  • This year, TIHAR Festival will be celebrated on October 29, 2016. (2nd Day of 5 days, TIHAR Festival), starting from October 28, 2016.

First 3 days of Tihar festival
First 3 days of Tihar festival
Last 2 days of 5 days, TIHAR Festival - NEPAL
Last 2 days of 5 days, TIHAR Festival - NEPAL


Day 1st: October 28, 2016 – KAG PUJA, Will be dedicated to Crow.

Day 2nd: October 29, 2016 – KUKUR TIHAR, Will be dedicated to Dog.

Day3rd: October 30, 2016 – DIWALI (Laxmi Puja), Will be dedicated to Cow.

Day 4th: October 31, 2016 – BAHAR, Will start New Year by Govardhan Puja.

Day 5th: November 1, 2016 – BHAI TIKA, Will be dedicated to the relationship of brother and sister.


The name kukur Tihar Festival is the combination of two Hindi/Nepali Words.

KUKUR : Means - Dog (English) AND Kutta (Hindi)
TIHAR: Means - Festival (English) AND Tyohar (Hindi)

KUKUR TIHAR Means DOG FESTIVAL. KUKUR TIHAR Festival is also known as,



Kukur Puja or Kukur Tihar is the most adorable festival in Nepal, when dogs have their day. Nepalese Police also joins this wonderful tradition and they demonstrate their dog to the public. It has three stages TIKA, AARATI and PRASAD. The celebration is not limited up to domestic or pet dog only, they treat all the dogs in the country even stray and wild dogs also having their best time.

Stray Dogs, greeted during  KUKUR TIHAR FESTIVAL of NEPAL
Stray Dogs, greeted during KUKUR TIHAR FESTIVAL of NEPAL

Three Stages of KUKUR PUJA (Dog Worship) of KUKUR TIHAR FESTIVAL


First, they wash and clean their pet dogs and then they trace a dash of vermillion paste on their forehead as a sign of holiness and blessing. Even they trace the paste to stray dogs also. And then they put flowers around dog's neck.


Once when dogs are traced with a dash of vermillion paste and showered with flowers. They will be treated, pampering and shown kindness. Also an Aarti will be conducted in their respect.

Pamper and Aarti
Pamper and Aarti


And now, Today will be a day when dog will have free access to all the eatables that ever they like and also will be treated with their favorite dishes and dog foods. Also, they gave food to the entire Stray and free roaming dogs staying around the houses in the streets. Nepali Hindus believe this will bring a good luck for them and god of death will be kind to them.

Dogs greeted with Prashad and Dishes
Dogs greeted with Prashad and Dishes

© 2016 ARADHYA


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    Post Comment
    • srai01 profile imageAUTHOR


      22 months ago

      You are welcome!

      Definitely you will like the festival and can have a good adventures trip,

      And Also in budget :)

    • profile image

      Cooper Harrison 

      22 months ago from San Francisco, CA

      Wow, I'd love to go see one of these festivals!


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