Men in Blue

Samudra manthan has been mentioned in various Hindu texts including the Bhagavata Purana, the Mahabharata and the Vishnu Purana. The story goes that devas (demigods) and asuras (demons) got together to churn the milky ocean and whisk out the nectar of immortality. However the nectar wasn’t the only thing that came out of the ocean; among other things, Halāhala, a very lethal poison, came out of the sea. Lord Shiva offered to drink it. As soon as he swallowed the poison, his throat turned blue, this is how he got one of his several name: Neelkantha - the blue-throated one.

A village in Bengal commemorates this mythical every year. The men of the village color their faces and sometimes body blue and grey and pay homage to Lord Shiva.