Nepal's Festival of Lights... and dogs and cows, too

Happy Tihar! Nepal’s Hindu festival of lights, also known as Diwali, is drawing to a close, but thankfully our on-the-ground reporter (okay, volunteer) Gokarna Pathak managed to capture some of the cuteness of Kukur (dog) and Gai (cow) Tihar to share with us.

The five-day festival kicks off with Kaag Tihar, a day to honor crows with offerings of food. Days two and three are reserved for dogs and cows respectively. Also on the third day, Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity, is invited into people’s homes, which are decorated with lights, candles and flowers. On day four oxen get the limelight, and the final day celebrates affection between sisters and brothers.

At its heart, Tihar is a celebration of humanity’s relationships with each other and with those animals that are close to us, the end of the harvest season, and the victory of light (good) over darkness (evil).