Dogs in Nepal were recently honoured in a ceremony with treats, food offerings and affection while wearing floral necklaces as a sign of dignity and respect.

The day, known as Kukur Tihar in Nepalese, is devoted exclusively to the celebration of man’s four-legged friends based on their important contributions to society, which in the police forces include maintaining security and assisting with crime scene investigations, said officers at the Central Police Dog Training School in Kathmandu, Nepal.

From sunrise to sunset that day, all dogs countrywide – including street dogs, household pets and herders – received food offerings to thank them for their friendship and loyalty.

Dogs were seen in the streets and parks of Kathmandu adorned with red tika face paint, made from a rice and yoghurt paste, and a flower garland known as a malla.

“(The malla) announces the wearer as important, and symbolises the prayers that go with the dog,” reported Dogster magazine.

Deepavali, the five-day Hindu festival of lights, takes place annually in the autumn to celebrate different forms of life, light and prosperity. Kukur Tihar is celebrated on the second day.

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Police dogs in Kathmandu, Nepal, posing for their adoring fans.

According to Hindu mythology, dogs play a key role in the restoration of righteousness on earth and in heaven.

For example, in the ancient sacred text Rigveda, a dog assists divine ruler Indra to recapture a herd of stolen cows. Longstanding beliefs also hold that a dog guards the gates to reach the afterlife.

The day comes in between Kak Tihar (the day for crows) and Gai Puja (the day for cows). The other days include those for oxen and for siblings, according to the Nepali culture portal We All Nepali. – EPA

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Gesture of appreciation for the contributions of man’s four-legged friend to society as well as their friendship and loyalty. Photo: Reuters