Gorehaba- A strange festival of furling cow dung at each other

Gumatapura Village rooted on the border of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka marks the end of the Diwali festival with a unique celebration. The word ‘unique’ falls into wide criteria as per everyone’s perception. But this is literary exceptional. People in Gumatapura village celebrate the end of the Diwali festival by flinging cow dung at each other. Yes, you read it, right? It is a cow dung fight amongst the villagers and it is celebrated with pomp! Known as the Gorehaba festival, it is the desi version of La- Tomatina of Spain! La- Tomatina where tomatoes are tossed irrelevantly at each other. Calling all the food waste control management!

Gorehaba festival
Gorehaba festival (Courtesy : Google)

Gorehaba celebrated with pomp


Considered as more Earthy version, villagers make snowballs of the cow dung and smear and pitch fellow villagers. It is a ritual and villagers enjoy this festival with enthusiasm. I know, while reading this your nose might have almost touched your brows. But this is nothing new. This festival is more than a century old. A tractor full of cow dung is brought to the village. But before the celebration begins the priest performs a Puja marking the start of the festival. People from roundabout village hurl to this place to enjoy the messy festival. Although untidy, the battle is fun as it is perceived to receive health benefits. The battle is enjoyed by boys and men of the village.

Gorehaba festival
Gorehaba festival  (Courtesy : Google)

The cow is considered a sacred animal in India and many folks consider bovine waste to cure disease and ailments. However, there are discrete views. Yuck and puke are the reactions when we hear of this festival. Every country has its views and celebrations. When it comes to foreign celebrations, our brows rise in wow. There are weird festivals around the World and it is celebrated with pomp and luxury. However, when it comes to our own country, we all sew our mouths. Here is the list of weird festivals celebrated around the world, which will make you sing glory about the Gorehaba festival celebrated in India.

Weird festivals around the world

  • Kanamara Matsuri Festival in Japan. It is a religious festival where everything is featured in the shape of a penis. Yes, you get it right and it is celebrated with enthusiasm.
  • Baby Jumping Siesta in Spain. Which means jumping on babies lying on blankets. It is not yuck but bizarre, isn’t it?

And many more.

We live in an age where coffee made from the poop of Cat is most expensive and we take pride in gulping that but, festivals and traditions that are age-old and harmless are considered to be over the counter. How about that body painting parade and naked parade that goes around the world?


India is a country that dates back ages and has figures proving it. Our ancestors were well more advanced when other countries were living in their primitive times. So, trust something passed on from generation and give your bit so that our coming generation learns and loves to play in mud instead of getting allergic to it.

What’s your take on these traditions? Write in the comment section below or tweet to me @sweta_jp

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