Hindu men voluntarily let a herd of cows trample them as part of centuries-old ritual: the ‘Gaay Gauhri Festival’ is believed to bless the brave few with happiness and prosperity and takes place on Govardhan Puja, the day after the festival of lights Diwali. Locals pray for their wishes to be granted by ‘Lord of Animals’ Lord Pashupatinath, with cow-trampling considered a mark of gratitude.
Despite the known risks, many men have their backs crushed but believe that as they recover, their luck will grow simultaneously. Cows are decorated with brightly colored paint and garlands and herded to ensure all men are stood on.
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