Devotees catch elephant's tail in a unique ritual

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Kollam (Kerala), Mar 31 (ANI): Cheered on by onlookers, a few bravehearts chased an elephant, and tried to catch its tail during a unique ritual in Kollam in Kerala.

Devotees gathered at the Umayanallur Sri Bala Subrahmanya Swamy Temple to celebrate 'Aanavaal Pidi', which entails catching the tusker's tail.

The festival, which falls during the month of March and April, is symbolic of the childhood antics of Lord Ganesha.

The elephant is first anointed and decorated and then taken in a procession amidst pomp and show.

The animal is then chased by men, who have been fasting for a week. They run after the tusker trying to catch its tail, in the belief that it will fulfill their wishes.

The ritual, which gets over in a minute, attracts both residents and, onlookers who are quite fascinated watching the unique spectacle.

"I feel very surprised to see a this kind of festival. First time in my life, I have seen something like this," said Francoise, a French tourist.

The animal races up to a distance of 100 meters. By K S Ashik (ANI)

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