Offbeat Video

By Bilal Kuchay


This bizarre footage shows babies and children being rolled in cow dung as part of an Indian ritual which their parents believe will help them lead a healthy life and bring them luck.

The unusual tradition takes place in a tiny village called Betul in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

Despite their attempts to escape, the youngsters are forced to stay and roll around in the dung, which is covered in flowers.

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Parents believe that smearing their kids in cow dung can help them lead a healthy life free from ailments and also the ‘purity’ of the cow dung will bring them good luck.

The ritual is centuries old and takes place annually the day after Diwali, India’s biggest Hindu festival, also known as the festival of lights.

In the weeks leading up to Diwali, people in the village collect cow dung and store it in huge piles.

On the day after the Diwali celebration, a special Hindu prayer called “Gowardhan Pooja” is offered and then people start dipping their children and infant babies in the pool of dung.

Groups of villagers gather around the heap and wait for their turn to place their children in the excrement.

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The practice continues from dusk to dawn until each child in the village has had their turn.

The bizarre ritual has been followed for centuries and locals says their children have benefited because of the dipping.

Cows are the most sacred animals in Hinduism, with many preachers believing that cow urine and dung have medicinal properties.