Over 120 People Injured At Indian Stone-Pelting Festival
In what might be the biggest case of 'the sky is blue' news, over 120 people have been injured at a stone-pelting festival this week.
Despite the fact that it quite literally involves people lobbing stones at each other, people showed up in droves to take part in the celebration, which went down at the Devidhura temple in Champawat district on Thursday (15 August).
The annual 'Bagwal' festival is held on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan - a traditionally Hindu, yearly ceremony - and aims to see blood shed to please the goddess Barahi Devi. According to local tradition, enough blood must be shed to be the equivalent of one human sacrifice.
The sport lasts for around ten minutes, seeing people throwing stones at each other while thousands of spectators witness the ritual, before a priest signals them to stop.
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Head priest of the temple B C Joshi told local news outlet The Federal that 120 people were injured during this year's festival - although this is a small price to pay if they're to please the local deity.
He said: "In old times, human sacrifice used to be made annually on the occasion to please the goddess. According to the legend, an old woman, who required to sacrifice her only grandson, pleaded with the goddess to spare him.
"Her prayers were accepted by the goddess, who appeared in dreams of her devotees and asked them to play Bagwal by pelting each other with stones and shed as much blood on the ground as can be considered equal to a human sacrifice."
Now you might be shocked by the fact that this festival allows its participants to inflict potentially fatal injuries on each other, but let it be known that local authorities have tried to ban the use of real stones over the years, encouraging fruit to be thrown instead.
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