Participants attempt to tame a bull during Jallikattu, in Madurai.(PTI)
Participants attempt to tame a bull during Jallikattu, in Madurai.(PTI)

Tamil Nadu government permits Jallikattu amid Covid-19; negative certificate mandatory

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By | Edited by Shivani Kumar
UPDATED ON DEC 23, 2020 12:22 PM IST

The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday allowed Jallikattu celebrations in the state amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). As per the advisory, the event will held with 50% audience. While for participants, negative certificate for Covid-19 is mandatory.

Jallikattu is a custom practiced where cattle stock are worshipped, during the Pongal festival, primarily in Tamil Nadu. It is a sport where a bull is let loose among a crowd of people. The participants are supposed to take control of the bull by holding its hump for as long as they can.

The festival is celebrated on Mattu Pongal, the third day of the harvest festival.

The bull species called Bos indicus, or humped cattle, is specifically bred for Jallikatu. The bulls that do well at the event are used latter for breeding.

Over the years, the festival has faced major criticism from several animal welfare groups who have described Jallikattu as “barbaric.” But political parties and people of the state have insisted that it is part of Tamil Nadu’s tradition and culture.

The move comes ahead of Tamil Nadu going to assembly polls in early 2021. Earlier this week, the government banned New Year celebrations on beaches, roads, hotels and resorts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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