painted bullocks return to work after the third day of the harvest
festival, known as the ‘festival of the cow.’ In most
pastoral societies in India, cattle are the beasts of burden.
Once a year the valuable animals are granted a day’s rest,
and paid tribute with various rituals that vary from region to
region. They are pampered: some are bathed, fed a special diet,
adorned in creative ways; some are oiled, their horns cleaned
and polished or painted. Colorful garlands of flowers and ribbons
may be hung around their necks.
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