Men Voluntarily Get Trampled By Cows During Hindu Ritual [VIDEO]

Though people are often injured in this dangerous ritual, one's luck is said to grow as one's ailments heal.

While most people have heard of running with the bulls, this Indian ritual takes the practice to an extreme when people lay on the ground in order to be trampled by stampeding cows.

The Daily Mail reports that, in a yearly ritual said to bring good luck, men in Ujjain, India lay down in the street and allow cows to trample over them.

In the video, the men can be seen laying down, face-down, in a dirt road, while swarms of people watch them from the sidelines.

Then, hundreds of cows decorated with henna, flowers, painted horns, and colorful balloons, are herded down the narrow street. The cows then pass over the men, trampling them in their wake.

This ceremony, called Gaay Gauhri, is held yearly in the city of Ujjain in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh to mark Ekadashi, an auspicious day directly following the Hindu festival of Diwali.

Ekadashi’s are holy days of fasting in Hindu and Jain culture and are often accompanied by regional rituals such as this one. The Ekadashi following the holiday of Diwali holds even greater significance in Hindu religion.

Hindu men travel to Ujjain from all over India to participate in this ritual that has been practiced for over one hundred years. Being trampled by these cows is said to allow one to atone for their sins.

Though people are often severely injured in this practice, one’s luck is said to grow as one’s ailments heal.

The injuries are treated with cow urine and dung, and then the participants are sent on their way.


Next, learn about the Indonesian ritual that takes place on an active volcano. Then, check out these images from the spectacular Hindu celebration of Holi.

Gabe Paoletti
Gabe is a New York City-based writer and an Editorial Intern at All That Is Interesting.
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