India: Devotees devour live chickens at Graveyard Festival

Thousands of worshippers gathered at Melmalayanur Angalaparameswari Temple in the southern Indian state of Tamilnadu on Thursday to celebrate the Mayana Kollai or Graveyard Festival where people eat live chickens. The festival is celebrated across the Indian state one day after Mahasivarathri day. During the day bizarre rituals are performed in the temples. During the last leg of the ritual... Еще, devotees go on a procession to the graveyard, cook food there, offer it to the deities and collect ashes from the cremation ground, which they would smear on themselves. Other rituals include biting live chickens, swallowing blood and chewing bones. Mayana Kollai is a ritual that is closely associated with the worship of the Goddess Angala Parameswari. Worshipped initially wherever a snake hill was located, the Goddess has, over the years, acquired human form.

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