MOOve over! 200 cows trample over Hindu villagers in central India ritual

Dozens of Hindu devotees voluntarily allowed a herd of decorated cows to trample them in the village of Bhidawad in India's Ujjain District on Sunday. Scores of men were seen being trampled on by cows and bulls in order to purify them from their problems and grant them prosperity. Village cows were seen rocking garlands around their necks and showing off horns painted in a display of colours including those of the Indian flag. The ritual is part of a century-old ceremony named «Gaay-Gauhri Puja» and takes place on the day after Diwali, the festival of lights. Participants who do sustain injuries, including having their backs crushed, believe that their luck will grow as they recover. Minor injuries are treated with cow urine and dung, which are believed to have medicinal qualities. Over 200 cows and bulls participated in the event. Drums and other musical instruments were also played. The ritual is enacted to bring the blessings of cows, considered by Hindus to be a sacred symbol of life.
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