Three dead during ‘Banni’ festival at Devaragattu in Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district

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Source: The post is based on the article “Three dead during ‘Banni’ festival at Devaragattu in Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district” published in “The Hindu” on 31st October 2023

Why in the News?

Three people died during the celebration of the Banni Festival in Andhra Pradesh.

What is the Banni Festival?

Banni Festival

TypeIt is a traditional stick fight celebration.
Celebrated during Night of Dussehra (Vijayadashami)
PurposeTo mark the victory of Lord Shiva (Mala Malleswara Swamy) and Goddess Parvati (Malamma) over demons Mani and Mallasura who used to trouble people at Devaragattu region.
OriginSince the times of Vijayanagara Empire.
ParticipationDevotees from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka participate as the Mala Malleswara Swamy Temple is located on the border of these states.
RitualsDevotees visit the temple with weapons like long sticks or lathis for hitting each other with these sticks on the head to get hold of ceremonial idols of local deities.
While one group of devotees make attempts to hijack the idols, the other group try to defend themselves along with protecting the deities.

UPSC Syllabus: Art and Culture/Festivals

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