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"Day of the Dogs" in Nepal

It's not just America that loves its dogs. In Nepal, a five-day Nepalese Hindu festival devotes an entire day to none other than our favorite furry best friend.

The Nepalese Hindu Festival of Tihar started yesterday, November 4th. The entire week celebrates various Hindu traditions, including Kukur Tihar, or, "Day of the Dogs."

Dogs have a very special place in the Hindu cultures, since Hindus believe that dogs are the messenger of the God of Death, known as Yamaraj. While this sounds sad, it actually causes those who practice Hinduism to celebrate dogs. It's the thought that if dogs are celebrated, then they'll be able to give good messages back to the God of Death and keep the God appeased.

Because of these beliefs, dogs are celebrated for the whole day. They are blessed with a Tika (a red mark on their forehead) and donned with a garland of flowers around their neck. (To be decided if they pups like these flower garlands or not...)

Participants not only celebrate their own dogs, but each other's dogs as well as any stray dogs in the area. And dogs aren't only honored with decorative elements but, of course, food. Whether attendees to the festival are at a festival event or whether they're just celebrating in their own homes, dogs all around Nepal are sure to get spoiled and maybe a little chubby.

Whether or not you're a part of Hinduism or other religions, I think we can all agree that dogs deserve to be celebrated! As festival celebrant and dog-owner Umid Pokharel said to BBC News, "worshipping them for a day is not enough." 

Now, go honor your dog by giving them a treat (or two...or five...)

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Jenna Gomes

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Jenna Gomes