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Nepalese citizens celebrated ‘Kukur Tihar’ (‘Dog Festival’), which marks the second day of a five-day long festival of lights and animals, in Kathmandu on Saturday.
Locals were seen placing garlands of flowers on dogs and offering the canines treats, while showing them plenty of affection.
"In Hindu philosophy, we see all the creatures [as] equal. The dog is considered as the god of the dead. So when we celebrate the dog, it means that when we die, we go to heaven," said Shuklawath Basnet, the manager of KAT Centre, a non-profit animal welfare organisation.
The five-day festival ‘Yama Panchak’ is celebrated each year among Hindu communities in Nepal. The festival is considered to be of great importance in Nepal as it shows reverence to the god of death and animals such as the crow, dog, cow and ox.
SOT, Shuklawath Basnet, Manager KAT Centre: "In Hindu philosophy, we see all the creatures [as] equal, in equal and same balance. So why, we celebrate this festival for dogs and also cows and also crows. The dog is considered as a god of death. So if we make [the dog] happy, it says that after we die we can easily go to heaven. So, this is the secret of worshipping the dog."
SOT, Shuklawath Basnet, Manager KAT Centre: "Today is the main dog celebration day. So in the morning, we worshipped our shelter dogs by putting a tika on their forehead. We are putting the flower garlands. Then, we are doing our own culture, swinging the bells *inaudible*. It was our culture. Then all worshipped dogs of this were presented. All the dog lovers were presented. Then we feed the dogs, we feed them very good food."
SOT, Laxmi Sharma, Chairperson KAT Centre: "The dog is the first animal and is very close to human beings. The dog is the first and then it is the cat. Cats are also very close to human beings. That’s why when you look at the Hindu religion, it is very important to us, to worship the dog."
SOT, Saujana Pradhan, Volunteer: "In this festival, there are five days where different animals are worshipped. One day the crow, one day the dog, one day the cow and ox. This is a big festival where every dog gets worshipped."
Video ID: 20201115-030
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