Mexico adopts Kukur Tihar

Nepal's tradition of honouring dogs at Kukur Tihar has been taken to the other side of the world by a collective of Mexican animal rights groups that has started celebrating the festival too.

Last week, after Nepal worshipped its dogs, Mexicans brought out their pets in the Mexico City’s Revolution Square and in Puerto Vallarta, garlanding and smearing vermilion on them just like in Nepal.

Kukur Tihar celebrations have started in Mexico since 2016. Photo: PHOTOPET

Kukur Tihar celebrations were started in Mexico in 2016, and was inspired by the Nepali festival to spread awareness there about the respect humans owe to all animals. Since then, the festival has gained popularity, and dogs have been singled out for special honour.  

“It is important to raise awareness among the population about the respect we owe dogs,” organiser of the annual festival Martha Dau told the El Universal newspaper, “we are convinced that a human being who does not hurt an animal will hardly hurt a human being.”

A woman celebrates with her dog in this year's edition of Kukur Tihar at Hotel Puerto de Luna. Photo: KUKUR TIHAR PV

Dogs garlanded with marigold, and smeared with red powder could be seen with their owners in Puerto Vallarta at two events this week. One of the organisers, Protección del Perro Callejero  also shared a YouTube tutorial on how to make marigold garlands for dogs. 

Anemio Maya of the Organización Properro said the festival was inspired by Kukur Tihar in Nepal in which dogs are worshipped because they are messengers of Yamaraj, the God of Death. “We hope that this celebration will spread throughout Mexico to raise awareness about the abandonment suffered by dogs and create a feeling of gratitude that is so necessary,” Maya added.

Owners fed dogs their favourite treats, and played with pets on Kukur Tihar celebrations which included  colourful drapes, banners and even rangoli adorning the celebration grounds at Hotel Puerto de Luna in Puerto Vallarta, creating a vivacious ambience that defines Tihar. 

Last year’s event in Puerto Vallarata paid tribute to Frida, a rescue dog involved in the earthquake in Mexico in 2017, and observed a minute’s silence to all other pets which died in the quake.

Kukur Tihar PV's banner for this year's edition of the festival. Photo: KUKUR TIHAR PV

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