Diwali is a traditional Hindu “festival of lights.” Every year in the fall, millions of Hindus across the world celebrate this special time by decorating with lights, exchanging gifts and hosting big parties.


Locals in Nepal know it as Tihar and one day during the festival is set aside especially to thank dogs for their friendship.

It’s called Kukur Tihar (it’s also called Khicha Puja by some) and it’s the second of the five days of the festival.


This “worship of the dogs” is celebrated by giving colorful flower garlands to dogs, applying tika—a mark on their heads—and sharing wonderful food with them.

The garlands are a sign of how much they revere dogs and the bond they have with them and the red powder represents sacredness. It’s no wonder because dogs and their unconditional friendship are life-changing.


Dogs are also prominent throughout Hinduism. Shvan, the dog, was the vahana or mount of the Hindu god Bhairava. In the Hindu epic Mahabharata, Yudhishthira was escorted into heaven by a dog. Many Hindus believe caring for and adopting dogs will help them get to heaven.


The images that come out of this special day are absolutely precious. They even inspire others to decorate their own dogs with flowers.

We love seeing dogs celebrated this way!