Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Diwali, the festival of lights is celebrated with high excitement and enthusiasm across India. While people light up earthen lamps (diyas) and decorate buildings with lights, bursting crackers has become an indispensable part of the festival since ages. However, breaking the stereotypes, a group of people from Odisha’s Rairakhol celebrated the festival of lights with ‘Ball of Fire’.

As per reports, a group of social workers in Rairakhol’s Jadumani Patna conducted a dangerous stunt at Bhim Bhoi stadium. A 'Ball' was made from gunny bags and gunny thread. Later, kerosene and ghee is poured on the gunny ball to ignite the fire. 

A huge number of residents of Rairakhol participated in the soccer game and the stadium was graced with a large number of spectators. 

While the entire arrangement for the game was made by the group of social workers, skilled local workers prepared the ‘Ball of Fire’. 

The event was held on Diwali evening. The show started after conducting a pooja of the ‘gunny ball’ at the center of the stadium. The competition was held between two groups and the participants joined either of the groups. 

Suspecting mishaps in the dangerous fire event, the organisers arranged sand sacks, blankets, water, and medicines at the event venue. This special event is being organised for the last 40 years with beliefs and hopes of staying safe from fire.

“This event is being carried out for the last 40 years. This is being observed as a traditional event and everyone is welcomed here. There are certain rules set for the game. The ‘Ball of Fire’ remains mostly on the ground just like the soccer game. We made all the arrangements to ensure safety during the event,” said, Sushant Kumar Samanta, a local.

“This special game is associated with Rairakhol. Everyone is welcomed to this event and there is no special invitation made to participate in the game,” informed Prasant Sahoo, a participant.