National Geographic : 1909 Jun
O 0 C) This picture represents one of the heathen festivals held in southern India, to which thousands gather every twelve years from all over India, when, according to devotion or consecration, the devotees fast from one to twelvedays and await the appearance ofthe sacred shell which "comes up out of the water whe the priest assigned to the office has 'searched' for it." Intheir frenzy thousands plunge into the tank or lake, hoping for purification of soul and body when the waters are moved. Inthe crush many are injured and large numbers drowned, in spite of the precautions taken by the English government to protect life. During this ceremony the gods are anointed with Iperfumed oils from the lemon, saffron, soapnut, banana, cocoanut, sugar, raisins; then milk ispoured over, and the devotees eagerly secure the sacred draught, moisten the forehead and eyes, and then drink what remains intheir palms, after which incense and camphor gum are burned. These vast throngs show slight regard for caste, and the rule of seclusion for women isapparently forgotten. . t'' ti ,_. . ^ ' 4. k,$,'v - Y, r "+" ,z,>-P tN7';.7~-( 3'az ~v (S+sx Icg3 w 1 t.qt""y#a t'IYYb J;l Fki zrFv'blsIjx7;7TsJ ]o forgotten.