Shot it in a interior village of west bengal ,INDIA on the eve of GAJAN MELA(FAIR).
Gajan a Shaivite folk festival, held on CHAITRA SANGKRANTI (the last day of Chaitra..according to eng calendar ,its in middle of april) and on full moon nights up to the full moon of Asadh. The festival is associated with various gods. There may thus be SHIVA's Gajan, the Gajan of DHARMA THAKUR, the Gajan of Nil etc. But the main object of this festival is to celebrate the marriage of the sun and the earth. The reason for this festival is perhaps to appease the sun and pray for rain during the hot, dry month of Chaitra.
The festival is arranged on the premises of Shiva temples. Those who take part in the festival after making vows are called sannyasi or bhaktya. They take sacrificial food and wear uturi (wrappers). Each one holds a staff. They try to satisfy the god through different acts of penance, such as piercing their tongues with nails, jumping upon thorns, walking on burning charcoal, etc. CHADAK PUJA is performed on the occasion of the Gajan festival. During this festival, processions are brought out from the premises of the temple of Shiva and taken to other villages. A pair of processionists take the roles of Shiva and Gauri and render dances. Other bhaktyas take the roles of Nandi, Bhrngi, ghosts and spirits, monsters and demons and dance along with Shiva and Gauri. During this time different verses are recited narrating the story of how Shiva's sleep was disturbed and going on to his marriage, his agricultural activities etc. This festival usually lasts for three days. During the gajan on Chaitra Samkranti, Kali dances are also performed in some places describing how the goddess slaughtered the monster Asura.
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Wanda1 (15140) 2008-05-15 7:46
A nice clear shot of this very intense ritual. Great composition of these guys in amongst the crowd and his expression just tops it off. Nice work!
DKarine (3903) 2008-05-15 8:08
A particularly instructive subject but a photo for me unbearable. I think which horeur and nevertheless I have no right to judge the customs...
A photo shock at least.
rajiv_077 (1412) 2008-05-16 3:54
Amazing picture of india's, Your picture is really something different than others. Personally i don't like to see this type of scene, But you doing great. Keep it up
aadilj (18102) 2008-05-16 4:00
Your recent shots make me cringe...but thats because I am chicken hearted! You composed them well and with your usual aplomb. Great way to showcase a ritual Subir.
vincz (19113) 2008-05-16 6:45
Wow.. this is a strong one. The face expression is so amazing. Excellent catch.
nivaldo (15417) 2008-07-06 9:56
Itīs cultural, itīs a ritual , but cruel in my opinion.
You made such a very real capture, well done!