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Holi - for issueless couple with a parade on donkey

Written by: Staff
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Junagadh, Mar 14 (UNI) Even as people celebrate Holi by sprinkling colours on each other, the people in Borvav village here perform a unique ritual on the festival -- making a childless man ride a donkey around the village so that he is blessed with progeny.

The villagers, after selecting the man, smear his face with black colour, tear his clothes and garland him with shoes, before sending him on the ride.

The man willingly rides around with villagers joining the procession and dancing to the rhythm of the drums.

Borvav village head Prakash Giri Goswami told UNI that this was a long standing tradition, in this small village of a population of 4,000 where 90 per cent of the people belong to the Patel community.

''As far as I can remember, I have been seeing this going on in this small village located in Talala taluka of the district, near the Gir forest,'' he said, adding that people outside the village hardly know about it as the villagers - mostly farmers - have little contact with the outside world and remain confined to this tiny place.

Another villager, Kanakbhai Upadhjyay (68) claimed that he knew of a couple who had a child after perfoming this tradition, about 10 years ago.

However, none of the couples who have had children after performing the ritual came forward to be identified or speak on the matter.

Laxman Bhai (60), who has been residing in Borvav for long, said the tradition claimed that many couples, who underwent this ceremony were able to bear a child.

He, however, admitted that there is no scientific rationale behind it and is only a belief among the people here.

Also, while taking out this procession, the people collect food and money from those who willingly give it as charity and later distribute it among the needy people, he added.

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