India: a giant battle of cow dung for a traditional festival in a village

the essential Each year, many visitors flock to Gumatapura, hoping that taking part in this ritual will prevent falling ill.

It is with joy that a huge crowd engaged on Saturday in a battle of cow dung in a village in India, during the traditional festival of “Gorehabba” which takes place a few days after Diwali, the largest Indian feast.

For this annual ritual, distant cousin of the Spanish “Tomatina”, which consists of throwing tomatoes at each other, the inhabitants started by collecting it. “ammunition” from cow owners in Gumatapura, located on the border of the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.


This precious booty was then brought to the temple on tractor trailers, before a priest performed the blessing ceremony. The manure was dumped on the ground and men and boys of all ages then waded through the mud to prepare their ammunition for battle. Every year, many visitors flock to Gumatapura, hoping that taking part in this ritual will prevent getting sick.


“If they have a disease, it will be cured,” said Mahesh, a farmer present at the festival on Saturday. Many Hindus, the majority in the country, believe that cow excrement, a sacred animal for them whose meat they do not consume, has healing properties.


Hindu Nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a strong animal advocate and many Indian states have long banned their slaughter for meat. Members of Mr. Modi’s party have advised using cow urine to prevent and cure Covid – 19 and other diseases.

His government is also seeking to encourage the production of toothpaste, shampoos and mosquito repellents from cattle waste.

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