Every dog has its day, and for canines in Gorkha families that phrase could not be more literal.
The five-day Gorkha festival of Tihar started on Sunday with Kaag (Crow) Tihar and the second day is known as Kukur (Dog) Tihar or "day of the dogs". The festival was observed by the Gorkha community across Assam.
Dogs are celebrated and blessed with a Tika - a red mark applied to their forehead. The animals are also given flowers garlands and offered food as part of the festival.
Hindus believe that dog is the messenger of Yamaraj - the God of death - and by keeping the dogs in good humour they will be able to appease Yamaraj himself. The festival, which shares some traditions with Diwali in Hindu faith also celebrates cows, bulls and crows
It is not just pet dogs which are pampered on this day. Stray dogs are honoured too. Treats given to dogs during Kukur Tihar can range from meat, milk, eggs and good quality dog food.
Tihar is also called Deepavali or the festival of lights in literary meaning. Throughout this festival, Gorkhas clean their houses and courtyards; light up lamps and pray to Laxmi - the Goddess of Wealth - urging her to visit their houses and bless them.
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