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The village of Gumatapura in India has become the site of a massive cow dung fight, as locals celebrate the day-long Gore Habba festival that takes place every year after Deepavali reports Ruptly.
Villagers smear themselves with cow’s excrement, previously collected and piled up, and proceeded to throw it at each other.
Prabhu, one of the devotees, explained that this faecal festival dates back his great grandfather’s period.
He went on to say that “cow dung is very natural and has a lot of medicinal benefits. Others might say if we throw cow dung at each other we will get some infections or even some disease. But with the trust of our god Beereshwara, we are playing in the cow dung, so nothing happens to us and if we have any health issues that will be cured.”
The tradition comes from the belief that the clothes and remains of a saint were placed in a pit in the village, and took the shape of a ‘Linga’, which became surrounded by cow dung in the course of time.
The dung is highly revered by the local deity Kare Eshwaraswamy, according to the villagers, who collect the dung and dump it behind the temple. Punishing liars by making them sit on a donkey is also a part of the ritual.