Indian villagers hurl homemade firecrackers at each other in mock war after Diwali

Villages in central India engaged in a peculiar festival where 'warriors' from two sides hurl burning dates at each other in a mock war.

The deadly festival of ‘hingot yuddh’ was performed yesterday, November 8, in parts of the state of Madhya Pradesh. 'Warriors' from two sides hurled burning hingots, a hardshelled fruit stuffed with gunpowder, at each other.

Preparations start at least three months in advance. According to hingot fight rules, warriors are divided into two groups, Turra and Kalgi, though traditionally neither side wins or loses the war.

The 'warriors' have shields to protect themselves but often many are injured, while spectators are covered by riot-shielded police to protect from stray shots.

Despite these protections, this year there were 28 injured during the celebration and battle, while last year, a spectator died after being hit by a hingot and 36 were injured.

This year there was talk of a ban on the event, causing angry villagers to band together and put up posters that called for assembly election boycott, as it is very popular in the area with hundreds travelling from across the state to attend.

The state administration rarely gives permission for it to be carried out, but residents continue preparing regardless. State police have distributed pamphlets to discourage people from entering the hingot war, but it seems few were persuaded.