This is the moment villagers laid face down in a road and allowed a stampeding herd of cows trample them – because they believe the religious ritual will bring luck.
The video shows dozens of people being trampled by hundreds of large cows – which can weigh up to 1,000kg each – in Ujjain, Madhya Prades, India. Despite the obvious risks, hundreds of men travel to the city to take part in the centuries-old event and organisers claim no one has ever died.
As onlookers gather in street to watch the spectacle, an announcer says: ‘Please move aside, let the cows arrive, the men who are participating can go and lie down.’
He then shouts a slogan praising the glory of God which is echoed by the crowd. Hundreds of cows are then released and rush ahead over the men. The cows are decorated with colors, garlands, and henna as part of the celebration.
Cows are considered the most sacred animal in Hinduism and, by undergoing pain, the men are said to be offering a sacrifice to the animals.
Though many participants are seriously injured by the ritual, it is thought their luck will grow as their ailments heal.
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