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In Inside Look

Strange Religious Festivals of India (2020)



Strange Religious Festivals of India



There are some strange religious festivals of India that are practiced all over the country that hardly people like you and me are familiar with it.
India is a land of culture, religion, beliefs, and some strange festivals and rituals too. Every region has its own traditions, even if you find them strange or weird but this doesn't stop them to practice it.
Let's take a look at these strange religious festivals of India:


    Self-flagellation - The Mourning of Muharram 

    Muharram translates into 'forbidden'. It is the holy month of remembrance and mourning. Mourning begins on the first day of the month with a 10 day fast and culminates into The Day of Ashura (tenth day) when Shia Muslims carry out the ritual of mass self-flogging to commemorate the martyrdom of Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. In a terrifying display of devotion, men mercilessly whip their bodies with blades attached to chains till they are soaked in their own blood.
    It is something not for the faint-hearted.

    strange religious festivals of india Deadliest Superstitious Rituals self flagellation muharram

    Jallikatu - Bull Run

    Jallikattu is a part of Pongal celebrations in Tamil Nadu State
    The term jallikattu comes from the Tamil words “salli kaasu” — while “salli” means coins, “kattu” is the package tied to a bull’s horns as a prize money.
    It has been alleged that bull owners often rub lime juice and chili powder into the animal’s eyes and genitals to make them ferocious which makes it even more dangerous for the spectators and participants.
    Moreover, animal rights organizations claim bulls are often stabbed with knives or sticks, punched, jumped on, and swept across the floor as the human participants try to tame them.


    Strange religious festivals of India


    Trampled Over by Cows

    Villagers in Madhya Pradesh allow hundreds of cows to trample them as part of Diwali rituals. It is believed they are honoring the cows themselves.
    If any of these villagers sustain minor injuries, they are treated with cow urine and dung, which they say has medicinal qualities to heal these injuries. 

    religious festivals of india trampled by cows
    Source- News18

    Tossing Baby from 30 ft high roof

    Solapur in Maharashtra State is famous especially for this ritual, being home to the Baba Umer Dargah, where this ritual has been actively practiced for ages.
    This is a 700-year-old ritual practiced by both Hindu and Muslim families in the region. Legend has it that hundred years ago, when the infant mortality rate was high, a saint advised the families of this region to demonstrate their faith in God by throwing their babies off the roof of a shrine and that God would miraculously produce a sheet below to catch them in.
    But now, people seem to choose not to rely only on faith these days. As the child is tossed off the roof by priests, a group of people wait below, holding a sheet to catch them in. On being caught safely in the blanket, the child is passed around in a triumphant celebration before being returned to its parents.

    Source- EDTimes

    Throwing Children over Cows' shit

    People of Betul, Madhya Pradesh State toss their children in cow dung as they believe that the ritual brings good luck on Gorvadhan pooja. 
    It is also believed to bring them good health apart from good luck, even if it takes their little ones being covered in a pile of cow dung. 
    This age-old ritual takes place in the coming weeks after Diwali on Govardhan pooja. Believing Cow sacred is one thing, bathing their children in cow's dung is another especially when the immune system of the children is underdeveloped.
    Deadliest Superstitious throwing children
    Father marking his kid with cow's dung (Source- WeirdAsiaNews)

    Aadi Perukku Festival - Smashing Coconuts over devotees' heads

    During this ritual, one of the priests hold the head of the devotees who are sitting in a queue awaiting their turn, and another priest breaks open the coconut in a jiffy by smashing it on the skull of the person.
    Breaking coconuts on the devotees’ head is symbolic of breaking free from your past, and surrendering yourself to God. Interestingly, it is a voluntary decision on the part of the devotees, whether or not they want to go through this ordeal, yet, thousands of people line-up outside the gates of Mahalakshmi Temple in Karur, Tamil Nadu State, to receive the blessings on this thanksgiving festival.
    Of course, the ritual causes head injuries to the people. While, some of them rush to the doctor’s clinic to get first aid, which could involve a few stitches, many devotees refrain from taking recourse to medical treatment either out of reverence for the deity or due to sheer fear from incurring the deity’s wrath.

    Priest Smashing Coconut Over Devotee's Head (Source- Dailymail)

    Bagwal Festival - Stone Pelting Festival

    It is a rather unique tradition to celebrate Raksha Bandhan in which devotees pelt stone at each other as part of a ritual named "Bagwal". It is held in a temple in Deidhura in Champawat district in Uttrakhand State as a part of a ritual to appease the local deity.
    According to legend four local feudal lords - Chamyal, Gaharwal, Olgiya, and Lamgaria- divide into two groups, both of whom start pelting each other with stones. The ritual concludes with a signal from the head priest.

    Source- eUttrakhand

    And also this festival is one of the few examples where the Government did intervene to make it safer for the people. According to Uttrakhand Tourism Department, the High Court has now ordered to use flowers and fruits instead of stones.
    These might not be the all but are some of the few weird and strange religious festivals of India that are celebrated in different states and People need to know about the difference between faith and blind faith.


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