10 Celebrations for Pets from Around the World

April 20, 2019

Throughout the year, people enjoy many different types of celebrations, but did you know there are celebrations for pets, too!

It’s not easy to celebrate your pet’s birthday. The main reason is that you probably don’t know the exact day he was born on. And, quite often, only really loving owners remember to include their pets on the Christmas gift-giving list.

A dog with a party hat.

Events and celebrations for pets

 

There are pet celebrations all over the world, dedicated specifically to our furry friends.

One example is the Kukur Tihar celebration, which takes place every year in Nepal. In that country, dogs are honored with flowers, garlands, and delicious meals one day a year.

People celebrate this event on the second day of the well-known Festival of Lights, the 5-day Hindu holiday celebrated in Nepal. In addition, people celebrate it in the Indian states of Assam and Sikkim, including Darjeeling, in the region of West Bengal.

Tihar is the second-largest festival in Nepal. People consider it very important, since it shows respect not only to humans and gods, but also to animals. The goal is to pamper them and thank them for their loyalty.

An ancient Hindu tradition

Hindu tradition claims that pets are messengers from Lord Yamaraj, the god of death, and that they guard the gates of the next life. That is why participants must venerate them during Kukur Tihar.

Whether the animals live on the street or have owners, people adorn them with flower wreaths. Then they put a mark on their foreheads with rice paste, yogurt, and red dye.

This mark, called the “tika”, means that the animal is a blessing to anyone who crosses its path. People give them food offerings, which usually include dishes filled with milk, eggs, meat, or quality pet food.

Saint Anthony day in Spain

Spaniards celebrate the day of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of animals, on January 17th. Every year, owners bring their pets to different places in the cities for a mass that includes a blessing from the priest for the animals.

In addition, people take a moment on that day to remember all the animals that once lived with us and are no longer here.

Celebrations for dogs in New York

The New York Dog Film Festival is a well-known festival for defending the well-being of pets and their owners. The celebration defines itself as “an annual celebration of the love between dogs and their people.”

In this event, the organizers choose short films starring dogs from around the world to create an experience that inspires, educates, and entertains. They show documentaries, animations, and narrative films. In addition, animal welfare organizations bring dogs to be adopted at the event. After that, they receive a portion of the ticket sales.

A party for cats in Japan

Cats get a party too– in Japan! It takes place on February 22nd, which is International Cat Day.

Why the 22nd? Because the onomatopoeia of the “meow” of a Japanese cat is “Nya”. Also, the number two in Japanese is “ni”. The 22nd day of the second month, i.e the “ni ni ni” is Cat Day because it sounds like a meow: “nya nya nya”. There’s a logic in there somewhere!!

Cats are beloved animals in Japan, and there are even lucky cat amulets. The so-called Maneki-Neko is also known as the “Lucky Cat”.

World Animal Day, with celebrations for pets

A dog at a birthday party.

Animal Day, or World Animal Day, is held every year on October 4th. People commemorate animal life, in whatever its form, and they plan special events around the world.

Churches, synagogues, and independent chaplains in parks or fields give out animal blessings. Animal shelters hold fundraising events and open houses, and organize informational exhibits.

In addition, schools devise work projects related to animals and owners, or donate to animal charities, or make commitments to sponsor an animal shelter, among other things.