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Breaking Coconut On The Head As A Sign Of Prayer Ritual

India is a country with many ancient traditions, rituals and festivals and countless groups. Indians are originally superstitious and cling to their culture and festivals religiously.

India has many ancient rituals which most people find queer. One of such rituals is the coconut breaking on the head among the rural areas in Tamil Nadu.

This ritual has been practised for a while, from the colonial era of India. Here devotees gather in a place preferably a temple and a priest break coconut on one head after another.


Some people walk stand up and walk away seemingly unaffected while others rub their heads perhaps indicating pain or discomfort.

This ritual is a form of thanksgiving to their deity for their wish being granted. This ritual is performed in certain parts of Karur, Coimbatore and Madurai districts in Tamil Nadu.

Breaking Coconut on the head in India. Photo: Flickr

In some places, this ritual is performed for 2 days and have more than one thousand people participating. Sometimes the priest goes into a trance and stands on a bed of sharp nails.

After the ritual is performed, participants are expected to have a head bath the next morning and couples are adviced to abstain from sexual relations to maintain the sanctity of the ritual.

This ritual is said to have begun in the colonial era when the British were building rail tracks through the village. The Villagers asked that the course of the rail tracks were moved but the foreigners building it in sarcasm told the natives that if they could break the coconut-like stones lying on the ground with their heads, they will change the track line.

Mysteriously through prayers and trance, the villagers were able to do so hence the ritual has been adopted until today.

Although doctors have warned that the practice is harmful to health because the skull has a limit to tolerance.

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