Day of the Dead or skull festival is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.
Hindu devotees lie on the ground in front of running cows as part of a ritual during the Govardhan Puja festival in Dhar, India. Hindus believe that Lord Krishna lifted Govardhan Mountain on this day to save the villagers from excessive rains.
A Hindu devotee bathed a snake with milk during Nag Panchami festival in Jammu, India. The Hindu festival of Nag Panchami is a day dedicated to the worship of snakes.
Men hold on to a goat during an annual Hindu festival ritual in Khokana village on the outskirts of Katmandu. In the ritual, a female baby goat is thrown into a pond as local men in teams compete to kill it, with the belief that whoever takes the prize will have a prosperous year.
The bizarre and cruel (not acceptable on many levels) live bull hanging ritual is carried out by the minority Dong people of southern China. It is believed to bring good weather, peace, prosperity and a full harvest.
First the bull is parade around the area by the residents where they believe he will collect the bad luck then they choose a ceremonial tree in the village, from which to hang the animal, and decorate it with red flowers.
The Kaparot (literally means “atonement”) is a Jewish ritual takes place one day before Yom Kippur. The person swings a live chicken or a bundle of coins over one’s head three times while reciting specific verses from the Mahzor. The practice is meant to transfer one’s sin to the chicken. The chicken is then slaughtered and donated to the poor.
A similar ritual is celebrated in Thailand where believers spend few minutes in the coffin to cleanse their soul while the monks chant some prayers. When they rise from coffins they believe they have got their souls cleansed and now ready for new life.
In Haredi Jewish communities, the Kaparot ceremony is still comomplace, but other streams of Judaism have discarded the practice or substituted the chickens for money, which is also given to the needy.
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Buddhist temple, Wat Proman, in Bangkok – Thailand is offering a deeply bizarre ritual of lying in the coffins for a few minutes while the monks chant some prayers – and then rise from the coffins believing that they are cleansed of their past and ready for a new life. The whole process takes a minute and a half.
A cardboard sign warns visitors not to stand behind the coffins, where bad karma sucked from the “dying” devotees may still be hovering. This temple has been offering its unusual daily resurrection service for more than three years and its popularity is seems to be ever growing.
Woman lying in coffin to cleanse her soul from bad lucks.
Monk standing with 9 pink coffins use to perform die and re-birth ritual.
Devotees preparing to experience the death and re-birth of their souls in coffins.
“First we pray for the ‘dead,’ to wash away the bad things. They will go away when the monk draws a sheet over the coffin,” said Rin Manaboom, a monk at the temple who conducts the ceremonies.
“The monk will turn the sheet over and pull it back, like pulling the good things back in. First we push the bad luck away, then we put the good things in.”
Monk covering the coffin with the sheet.
Worshipping at Wat Proman temple in Thailand.
Getting ready: The whole process takes a minute and a half.