Being the holiday season, Mom said we should tell you about something positive going on for dogs internationally since so much of what we educate you about is usually a bit sad and overwhelming. Let’s talk about the Tihar Festival in Nepal!
So yes, I say “festival” and I imagine the first thing that comes to most of your minds is Yulin. Well no, this is an actual happy festival especially for dogs. This is a five day festival – the second largest Nepalese festival to occur annually usually at the end of October. It is considered to be of great importance because it shows reverence, worship and appreciation for not only humans and gods but also to animals like crows, cows and DOGS! Beautiful displays of colors and patterns adorn floors, courtyards and streets made with colored rice and flower petals. It is meant to serve as a sacred welcoming area to the gods and goddesses of Hinduism. (Note – this is precisely why I always have so much support from those of Hindu and Indian decent on my page and at events).
On the first day, they worship the crows and ravens. Apparently the cawing of crows and ravens symbolizes grief and sadness so they make offerings to avert grief and death in their homes.
Day 2 is all about the DOGS! People offer delicious food and treats to us to acknowledge the cherished relationship between humans and dogs. Dogs have a special place in Hindu mythology and are said to watch over the gates of Hell. People decorate us with flowers and some paint markings. We are loved and respected. Our place is truly seen as man’s best friend. I think this sounds like a wonderful experience!
Day 3 they show their gratefulness to the cow as it signifies prosperity and wealth. The cows’ milk, dung and even urine are used for purposes of purification and therefore the cows are considered truly sacred. They are adorned with flowers and fed the best grass.
Days 4 and 5 are dedicated to showing respect for the gods and goddesses.
Mom says this is on her bucket list of places to visit especially during this event. Me, I think buckets are fun to lift my leg on so I am not sure what she’s thinking! This festival is such a wonderful event to dream may actually become a reality in places other than Nepal. Dreams can lead to reality so let’s all focus our energy and believe it can happen.