Kukur Tihar and Laxmi Puja are being observed today, the second day of Tihar festival this year, by worshipping, garlanding and feeding dogs and cows.In Kukur Tihar, dogs are worshipped as protectors of the house.
A dog is the most loyal friend to human beings, and according to Hindu myth, dogs are regarded as the guards of Yama, the god of death.
The second day of the festival is the “Day of the Dogs”. On this day, Nepalis honour and thank dogs who are believed to assure safe journey of the departed souls to heaven.
Hindus honour dogs with calendula garlands and Tika and then feed them a delectable spread of food. Nepalese policemen can be seen applying red tika on patrol dog foreheads and presenting garlands to thank them for their faithful service.
In Nepal, dogs are considered to be the messengers of Yamraj, the god of death. Dogs play the crucial role of being the gatekeepers of death. It is said that the dogs lead the souls of the dead people in the underworld across the river of death.
This year, Kukur Tihar and Laxmi Puja are being celebrated on the same day (Kartik Krishna Chaturdashi on the lunar calendar), according to Nepal Panchanga Nirnayan Samiti.
Similarly, Nepali Hindus worship cows in the morning and Goddess Laxmi in the evening, wishing for prosperity on this day.People celebrate Laxmi Puja in every household today by lighting butter lamps and candles inside and outside the households to welcome the Goddess by lighting up the path.
All the nooks and corners of the house including the courtyard and rooms are illuminated with colourful and decorative lights this evening with the belief that Goddess Laxmi does not visit places that are not properly illuminated, and to please Goddess Laxmi, people light lamps and spend the whole night in a vigil.The night of Laxmi Puja is also known as ‘the Night of Bliss’.People also play deusi-bhailo following the puja.
VOL. 16, No. 15, March.24, 2023 (Chaitra 10. 2079) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75
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