Annually during the first week of December in rural districts of India, hundreds of infants are thrown from the high roof tops ( some of which are as high as 50 feet) of mosques and temples by Hindu and Muslim villagers. The babies are to hopefully land in the safety of sheets and blankets held by the awaiting, celebratory crowd below. If the child survives the fall, it signals a life of good luck, well health, prosperity and a long life (unless you happen to be a baby girl, in which case a long life may or may not be in your future, but that is entirely another story). Singing and dancing abound.
Devotees at a shrine in Harangal village of Parbhani in western India’s Maharashtra dangle the frightened looking baby 50 feet above the cloth sheet below.
The good news is India is set to ban this sacred, ceremonial gang baby toss with the hope of enlisting Hindu and Muslim villagers to become residents of the 21st century. I predict hard work ahead.