Siliguri (West Bengal):
Animal lovers celebrated the “Kukur Tihar” or Kukur Puja festival at a street dog rescue centre in Siliguri on Saturday afternoon to honour the man’s best friends, dogs. Kukur Tihar or Kukur Puja literally means the worship of dogs. This festival is celebrated during Diwali, the festival of lights.
During Kukur Tihar, people offer prayers and honour dogs, not just pets but also strays. The canines are garlanded, tikkas applied on their foreheads and plentiful food is offered to them.
The festival is dedicated to dogs who are regarded as the guardian and messenger of ‘Yama’, who is the lord of death.
Animal helpline, a renowned animal lovers organisation of Siliguri celebrated the day with great enthusiasm. In the morning the members of the voluntary organisation bathed around a hundred street-rescued dogs and worshipped them. They also cooked special food for them following the festival of Kukur Tihar.
Priya Rudra, founder of animal helpline, Siliguri said, “It’s a very special day for us like Durga Puja and Kali Puja. During the day, we tried to give special attention to them. We worship them and serve special dishes. It’s a very important day for us because there are so many festivals for human beings, but nothing for animals. A day like Kukur Tihar tells us that animals are also an important part of our society. People should love and respect them. During the Diwali festival people like to burst crackers which are very disturbing for the animals. So they should be concerned if animal-like dogs are very much near to them during the time of bursting crackers.”
Priya Roy, a member of animal helpline, Siliguri said, “We celebrated Kukur Tihar at our shelter today with great enthusiasm. Like God, we also worshipped street dogs today. It’s my appeal to the people that they respect street dogs and serve food to them as per your limits.”
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