While most people try to avoid stepping on cow dung, the men attending the Gore Habba festival in India are extremely excited to put cow dung on their bodies and throw them into the surrounding crowd.
Gore Habba is a traditional feces throwing festival that takes place every year in Gumatapura village, southern India. Each year after the Deepavali light festival holiday, the villagers will hold a unique Gore Habba festival. Anyone who is not afraid of dirt and the smell of cow dung is welcome to join the event.
According to RT newspaper, cow dung is often used in rural India for a variety of purposes, from insulation for houses to fuel for stoves. A few days before the festival, Gumatapura villagers had to store a lot of cow dung to make sure the participants of the event did not run out of "bullets".
On the day of the festival, men, from children to adults, stripped naked, excitedly grabbed each handful of stinking cow dung and plastered themselves on their bodies and threw it at other men.
Although the application of feces to the body looks unsanitary, Gumatapura people believe that it is not only harmless but also has healing effects.
"Cow dung is naturally derived and has many healing benefits. Others may doubt that we throw cow dung at each other will cause infection or disease. But with the belief in the god Beereshwara, they I was playing in cow dung and nothing happened, "explained a resident named Prabhu.
Mr. Prabhu added that the cow dung festival emphasizes equality. People from all walks of life and religions can participate. However, women are only allowed to watch and are prohibited from participating in throwing cow dung.
The traditional festival stems from the belief that the remains of a god are placed in a pit covered with cow dung in the village. Legend has it that the god of the village attaches great importance to cow dung, so local residents often dump this waste behind a temple in the village.