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Hindu devotees offer Lord Shiva their crabs

05 February 2010 [10:50] - TODAY.AZ
There’s no denying it: religion is important. Nearly 5 billion people from all across the globe partake in some form of religion, whether it’s Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, or even Scientology.

And for each religion, there are specific ways in which devotees worship. For instance, Christians attend church, Muslims visit a mosque, and Scientologists watch Tom Cruise movies.

Some people, though, choose to worship in rather strange and usual ways—like sacrificing a limb or chopping off a young man’s moist foreskin.

One such example originates from the Ramnath Shiv Ghela temple in Surat, Gujarat, India, where local Hindus celebrate their religion by offering crabs to Lord Shiva.

It’s a timeworn tradition that spawns continued good fortune and fulfilled wishes, or so it is said.

A devotee known as Deepaliben explains: “My aunt had a chronic ear problem [and] she vowed if she gets well, she would offer crabs at this temple. According to the custom here, people offer crabs to the lord when they get well. Today I am here with my aunt.”

The practice of crab-giving is especially popular in winter due to Makara Sankranti, a Hindu festival that’s celebrated on January 14th.

As for the origins of this unusual tradition, they can, according to a priest at the temple, be traced back to the Hindu epic of Ramayana, wherein “Lord (Rama) was pleased by the crab as it was swept on his feet by a wave among other sea creatures and was blessed to be an integral part of divine worship.”

Indeed, it is strange. But hey… at least they’re not sacrificing goats!

/Weird Asia News/

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