It would take a lot to convince a person to pick up a scorpion. A person’s reluctance to pick up, or even approach scorpions is perfectly understandable; after all, scorpions are venomous, and some species have even been known to kill humans. It could be said that as far as arachnids go, scorpions are one of the most dangerous and fierce of all species. Unfortunately, scorpion-handling is a required practice in some religions, as the arachnids are commonly worshipped in various Asian regions. For example, many people living in India worship the scorpion goddess known as Kondammai. As far as these worshippers are concerned, it is sinful to be afraid of scorpions. This is why the most pious worshippers of Kondammai choose to demonstrate their love of the goddess by allowing scorpions to crawl on their bodies. Many followers of this belief system fearlessly place scorpions into their mouths in order to prove their virtue and adherence to this particular eastern faith.
Every year, the majority of Hindus in India take part in an annual snake-worshipping festival known as Naga Panchami. Although much of India takes part in this annual festival, not all Hindus choose to worship the snake on this day. Instead, followers travel to a different location within the country in order to worship scorpions. This festival brings adherents to a particular hill located in Kandakoor known as Chellina Beta, or Scorpion Hill. After men, women, children and the elderly pray to the scorpion goddess atop the hill, they begin to indulge themselves by playing with nearby scorpions that are abundant in the area. Most adherents allow the scorpions to crawl anywhere on their bodies, and the bravest place them into their mouths with the belief that the scorpion goddess will protect them from attack. Although adherents claim that nobody has ever been stung, others find this claim dubious. However, no fatalities have ever been officially reported during the festival. Despite the clear danger associated with such religious practices, the number of attendees increases substantially with each passing year.
Would you place a scorpion into your own mouth for any amount of money?