Indian villagers throw dung at each other for good luck in smelly festival

Hindu villagers in south India threw cow dung at each other for good luck during a day-long festival immediately after Diwali on Saturday, November 10.

In the small village of Gumatapura in Chamarajanagar district, Tamil Nadu, the festival of ‘Gore Habba’ was carried out as villagers smeared themselves and their neighbours with dung.

The ritual of throwing cow dung on one another during Diwali has existed in this village for centuries and draws hundreds of people from both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The preparations for the festival start with people piling up hillocks of dung at the local Beerappa temple, while the free-for-all begins once the ‘kondigekara’ or ‘chadikora’, one who carries tales, arrives and the temple priest offers pooja to the pile of dung, then the smelly battle begins. Village elders claim the ritual strengthens the bond between people.

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