We all must have heard about the ‘La Tomatina’ festival that is now celebrated in different parts of the world. Initially started in Spain, people enjoy the festival that entails mashing ripe tomatoes on each other. Well, a ‘Gobar festival’ is celebrated in the southern part of India in a similar spirit.
A village named Gumatapura, in Tamil Nadu, makes merry with cow dung with the same enthusiasm and excitement. They celebrate the ‘Gore Habba Festival’ few days after Diwali praying for good health and prosperity.
— RT (@RT_com) November 5, 2019
Multiple videos of people gleefully flinging cow dung cakes in the air and jumping into a pool of ‘Gobar’ have made it to the internet.
It is also a yearly tradition in the village of Kairuppala in Kurnool. People of the rival village gather for the ‘Pidakala War’ hurl cow dung cakes at their opponents, reported Mail Online. Thousands of onlookers crowd the streets to watch the people smear cow dung on each other.
The custom takes place the day after the spring festival ‘Ugadi’ and is a symbolic war about a mythological marriage dispute.
According to reports, the two fighting allies support the goddess Bhadrakali and Lord Veerabhadraswamy (a fearsome form of the Hindu god Shiva) respectively. Cow dung cakes are thrown by each side towards the other while crowds line the streets and onlookers gather on nearby buildings. Thousands of people can be seen in this video watching on as the manure cakes are sent hurtling through the air.
Reports have it that Lord Veerabhadraswamy wanted to marry the goddess Bhadrakali but many opposed the wedding and that led to a dispute. The people supporting the goddess used cow dung as their weapon of choice, eventually getting the Gods into matrimony. The tradition continues even today as the villagers celebrate the union at the end of a battle. Cow dung is flung high into the air to bring health, prosperity and rainfall.
Walls plastered with cow dung cakes are a common sight in rural India. In fact, it is still used as fuel in rural Indian houses. Some people apparently use cow dung to plaster their mud houses too. Earlier, a woman covered her car with cow dung to beat the heat.
Well, would you like to attend the cow dung festival? Tell us.