Crying children placed in cow dung by parents in order to grant them good health and luck during primitive ceremony
The dung is decorated by the villagers with yellow and orange flowers and also peacock feathers. Despite children doing their best to escape, the young ones were forced to stay.
For the Hindu festival of Govardhan Puja which takes place in India, crying children were placed in cow dung by their parents who believe rubbing cow dung onto the skin can help to bring good health as well as good luck.
The children are placed on cow dung decorated with flowers while their parents rub it on their skin in order to be granted good health and protected from disease as part of the ritual or prayer. In the shocking footage, many children can be seen taking part in the ceremony where babies are placed down on to the dung while the older children voluntarily jump onto it.
Despite some children doing their best to escape, the young ones were forced to stay and roll around in the dung. The dung is decorated by the villagers with yellow and orange flowers and also peacock feathers. Once the dung has been decorated, the adults proceed to dance around to music from drums and sticks for the ceremony which takes place on November 8.
The ceremony lasts from sunrise to sunset and villagers take turns to place their children in the cow dung. The ritual is many centuries old and is followed mainly by the residents of the Besul district which is in the Madhya Pradesh region. The Govardhan puja is also called 'Annaku' and is a festival celebrated by those who follow the Hindu religion.
The festival takes place on the fourth day of Diwali and devotees pray to Lord Krishna as the ritual and puja commemorate the day Lord Krishna was able to defeat Lord Indhra who had brought on heavy rainfall and turbulent weather which led to the destruction of fields and crops.
Many doctors have voiced their concern over the ritual and have stated that the ceremony could actually be dangerous for children. As reported by The Sun, Dr. Mangilal Rathore of Pooja Hospital in Betul said: "It is an old practice followed by a particular community here. I would not criticize it but at the same time, I would not advise it as it could be seriously dangerous for the children, especially if they have some wounds or open injuries. The bacteria in cow dung could also harm the sensitive skin of children".