India

India court bans children from human pyramid festival

Indian Hindu devotees attempt to form a human pyramid in a bid to reach and break a dahi-handi (curd-pot) suspended in the air during celebrations for the Janmashtami festival, which marks the birth of Hindu God Lord Krishna in Mumbai on September 6, 2015. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Every year dozens of groups in Mumbai mark the Hindu festival of Janmashtami by forming human pyramids

India's top court has ruled that people below the age of 18 years cannot participate in Mumbai's famous human pyramid religious festival.

The Supreme Court upheld an earlier high court ruling on Wednesday that the tradition was dangerous for children.

The court also banned human pyramids taller than 20ft (6m).

Every year dozens of groups in Mumbai mark the Hindu festival of Janmashtami by forming human pyramids to reach pots carrying yogurt hung high above.

The festival, known as the Dahi Handi festival, is celebrated to mark the Hindu god, Krishna's birthday.

Religious scriptures say he loved dairy products and often climbed onto his brother's shoulders to reach hidden pots of butter.

Many teams compete to make the tallest pyramid every year and children are often put on top to reach the pots.

But recent years have seen injuries and accidents. Last year, one man died and more than 100 other suffered injuries during the celebrations.

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