SHERIDAN, WYOMING, November 4, 2021 (The Sheridan Press): A line of dogs, leashed to their owners, formed in front of Little Kitchen restaurant Wednesday morning. The occasion: the Nepalese day of the dog, or Kukur Tihar. The dogs waited for humans to celebrate them. As each dog made its way to the front of the line, Little Kitchen Owner and Head Chef Thomas Jefferson, a native of Nepal, adorned the animal. He or the dog’s owner would apply chandan — golden paste made from ground Indian sandalwood — and simrik — a plant-based crimson mixture — to the dog’s forehead. Then, Jefferson scattered multicolored flower petals over the dog’s body and tied a garland of artificial marigolds around the dog’s neck. “Thank you so much for being a good friend,” Jefferson said to one dog as he completed this ritual.

Kukur Tihar is part of a five-day Hindu festival, called Tihar or Yama Panchak, celebrated in Nepal and Himalayan provinces in northeast India. As Jefferson explained before the crowd of dog owners, Tihar is a festival of lights celebrating the relationship between siblings and sacred animals, including crows, dogs, cows and bulls. These sacred animals and relationships maintain special significance in Hinduism, Jefferson said. Crows, for instance, are believed to be the link between the worlds of the living and the dead. By praying to and feeding crows on the first day of Tihar, celebrants honor deceased ancestors. According to Jefferson, cows and bulls are honored on days three and four of the holiday respectively as the sacred symbols of Deities.

More on this festival celebration at “source”.