The Yulin Dog Meat Festival has dominated headlines as thousands of animals are eaten as part of an annual celebration tied to the summer solstice. Thousands of people have signed petitions and it seems like Yulin’s popularity is waning among Chinese. As the Yulin festival went viral, many were quick to point out another festival that celebrates animals, but in the best way possible.
The Tihar Festival in Nepal is held annually in October and Hindus in the country celebrate it much like they would Diwali, the Festival of Lights during which animals are celebrated and worshipped. That means dogs and cows are covered in garlands and colorful dyes. The five-day festival takes place during the fall and the second day is known at Kukar Tihar, which is when dogs are pampered and celebrated in Nepal. Police dogs have competitions and other ceremonies to honor their service.
“The first day is dedicated to worshipping of the crow, considered the messenger of death or Yamaraj by Hindus. The dog is worshipped as the representation of the Hindu god Bhairav on the second day. The third day is dedicated to the cow, considered the representation of the goddess of wealth, Laxmi. The bull is worshipped as the representation of the earth on the fourth day,” according to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA). The final day is dedicated to sisters honoring their brothers, which isn’t as exciting as worshipping animals.