Friday, April 24, 2015

Baby dangling festival

The Sheedis are an ethnic group in Pakistan whose ancestors are believed to have been brought to the subcontinent as slaves from Africa. Each year a 'Crocodile Festival' is held at the 800-year-old shrine at Manghopir, an arid, hilly area at the outskirts of Karachi, to celebrate the annual traditional ritual of dancing and singing and feeding the crocodiles at an adjacent pond.

One of the most 'curious' part of the event is when a father dangles his baby son above crocodile's jaws during the religiousfestival. He is in fact seeking blessings for his five-month-old son. 

During the Sheedi Mela, devotees make pledges to a shrine for the reptiles and then head for the water to offer them fresh goat meat. Acceptance of the meat is regarded as a sign of luck and property and the faithful believe the beasts won't attack because they are the disciples of the saint, Khwaja Hasan.

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