It was on October of 2015 when news spreading across the internet which claimed origin of dogs were from Central Asia noticeably Nepal. If it’s true, Nepal surely gets yet another applauding praise for its establishment in animal friendly culture.
With many animals being worshiped for their contribution to human being or taken as different avatar of god’s, Nepalese culture has strong connotation with all other forms of being. This claim is justified by “Tihar”(also known as Deepawali worldwide but the exact Nepalese term for this festive is Tihar). Tihar is second biggest festival of Nepal which is celebrated from Trayodashi of Kartik Krishna to Kartik Shukla Dwitiya every year(swing between last week of October to first week of November because of lunar calendar) i.e shortly after Dashain (biggest Nepalese festival).
Tihar is five day long festival where each day has its own speciality. First day is worshiping of Crow with a belief to avert grief and death. On the second day, Nepalese worship dog. YES, THERE IS ACTUALLY A BIG CULTURE OF WORSHIPING DOG. They are offered foods, garlands and put on tika. It’s literally every dog has its day. This is mainly done to cherish the long and established human and dog relation. It’s a day to remember contribution of Dog for human civilization. On third day, there is worshiping of COW, holiest animal of Hindus worldwide. In fact not just on tihar, cow and it’s product like dung, urine, milk and milk products are ingredient of many more important Hindu culture. Absence of one(depending on the festive) is usually assumed to be incomplete. On fourth day, Ox i worshiped. The final day where sisters put tika on forehead of brothers to bless with long and disease free life.
Similarly, on the occasion of Naagpanchami (which fall son July/August), Nepalese Hindu put poster/picture or statue of Cobra/Serpent of woods, stones or silver on the walls, and offer the statue with milk and water. This culture has successfully inculcated strong belief in need and preservation of Snakes.
There are many such other examples where Hindus of Nepal and Indian subcontinent worship and take animals in the form of God. Mouse is vehicle of Ganesha, Tiger as the vehicle of Goddesses Durga. Vulture (Garud) has very prominent role in Ramayan, one of the four scariest Hindu scripture. Elephant head can be found in Ganesh. Likewise, Peacock feather has very special value among Nepalese. And List goes on.
Saying this, we can find some unethical practices of animal sacrifice in Nepalese culture. Like worshiping and offering of goats during Dashain. Mass sacrifice during Gadimai. Though Mass sacrifice has now been banned officially now. We cannot obviously force to avoid such scarification but we can may be follow alternative to ‘offerings’. (sadly misinterpreted as vegan trying to influence to not to eat meat).
While not aforementioned culture might be feasible to be followed worldwide but “Dog Festival” is something that can go globally. With Dog being default best friend of man all over world, most preferred pet by defacto, we can highly encourage to make this trend of worshiping Dog worldwide. This is the perfect time for all animal lovers, benevolent people and everyone who adore dogs, to showcase love and assimilate such a good practice of landlocked country.
Happy Tihar Every Beautiful human being of World.