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Tipsy birds fight for trophy at Bihu festival

Over 300 birds, high on marijuana, fight as thousands of spectators goad them with drum beats and cymbals at the annual harvest festival in Hajo village.
PTI | By Indo-Asian News Service, Hajo (assam)
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2005 01:26 PM IST

Over 300 birds, high on marijuana, fight as thousands of spectators goad them with drum beats and cymbals at the annual harvest festival in Hajo village, 30 km west of Guwahati.

Bird fights, using the red-vented Bulbuls, a 20-cm-long bird of the Pycnonotus Cafer family, are an integral part of the Bihu celebrations at Hajo, with residents training the birds for a fortnight prior to the event.

In the two-day festival that concludes Saturday, at least 300 intoxicated birds are coaxed to fight each other by their temporary owners for a trophy and a cash reward of Rs.1,000.

Locals catch the birds from the forest using bamboo traps, according to a village elder, Chinmoy Das.

For 20 days, the birds are fed an intoxicating concoction consisting of a small amount of marijuana along with other herbs, bananas, black pepper, cloves and cinnamon.

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