World Update

Indian devotees honor Hindu deity with spectacular fire-throwing fight (VIDEO)

Indian revelers will likely be buying aloe vera in industrial-size tubs this week following Agni Keli, a religious fire-throwing festival in the southern coastal city of Mangalore.

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Thousands of spectators turned out to watch devotees throw burning palm fronds at one another in a tradition designed to appease the Hindu goddess Durga. Footage from the annual eight-day festival shows embers flying as two torch-wielding groups try to set each other alight.

The rules state that each participant must stand 10-15 meters apart and can only make five throws. To prevent serious burns, the men wear pieces of cloth around their lower body. The event, which takes place every April, honors the popular deity Durga, a warrior goddess known mythologically for combating demons that threaten peace and prosperity.

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