WORLDPOST
10/15/2010 03:53 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Indians Practice Ritual Of Throwing Children For Health (VIDEO)

Like baptism or first communion, Indian children are subject to various rites-of-passage during their youth. But unlike those Western traditions, this one could potentially leave a kid a bit worse for the wear.

In a custom believed to enhance children's physical health and stamina, priests in Maharashtra's Jaina town dangled hundreds of local youngsters by the arms and feet before tossing them to a crowd of devotees holding a cloth below, Sify reports.

These high-flying children range in age from two months to four years old, and were subject to the 500-year-old custom during Navratri, a nine-night festival marking both spring and autumn. Though priests are now limited to five feet, children were tossed as far as 40 feet in centuries past.

Watch video of India's child-throwing ritual via CBS below: