Diwali Cattle Stampede | Bizarre Diwali Tradition
The town of Jhabua, in western India celebrated Diwali today (November 8) by performing a strange rite where Hindu men allowed cattle to trample them in the street.
In a video shot during the event at Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh, these villagers, who mostly work as herdsmen tending to the cows, can be seen lying face down on the ground as cows run over at full speed.
Villagers believe this would bring luck and fulfil their wishes. When asked if the ritual ends up injuring the participants in the process, locals claim that no one was hurt and that the tradition only brings good luck and prosperity.
More than that, if someone sustains minor injuries, they are treated with cow urine and dung, which they say has medicinal qualities to heal these injuries.
Locals paint their livestock in bright colours and embellish them with bells for this ritual known as ‘Gaay Gauhri’. The villagers then drape garlands around their necks and lie on the ground to allow cows to run over them.
These men and women also dance to drum beats and other musical instruments for the event.
The herdsmen say it all started with a man praying for a son and when his wish came true, the villagers started observing this as an annual affair.
A Gau Gauhri festival was also observed at the Gowardhan temple in Jhabua district, where, apart from the ‘trampling’ ritual, the villagers also felicitated the herdsmen. Locals claim that this tradition shows the special bond that the herdsmen have with the cows, as many claim these cows do not hurt the herdsmen while running over them.
The villagers said that the tradition is meant to seek blessings and the practice has been on since the era of the Raj. The festival also allows the herdsmen to seek forgiveness from the sacred animals for herding them around the entire year.
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