What's really cool is that anyone can pick up one of the burning bales and start swinging away.
The festival began as — and still is — a ritual to welcome the "bride" of the new harvest. Taking place right around rice-planting time, which is also when tea plants enter their season of rapid growth, the festival is a community prayer for a good harvest and a gesture of gratitude for nature's bounty.
As we walked back to the grower's tea estate, I left with a renewed appreciation not only for the bounty of nature, but also for traditions through which a community publicly expresses its gratitude for this bounty.
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