I'm not trying to start a holy war here, so please keep any fighting to a minimum. I know there are at least a few religions with cockfighting being a direct part of the religion.
I've read in SE Asia cockfighting has something to do with fertility in men, the Hindu religion has cockfighting as part of it. The Balinese use cockfighting as a part of their religion in purifying the ground after a natural disaster.
If cockfighting directly ties into your religion please share what your religion is, how it ties into your religion, and what part, and if you live in the U.S. Please reply in English if at all possible or at least write the name of your language so I can run any answers through a translator.
In India, hens and roosters were regarded as sun birds. They were named this way for their chickensong at sunset and by this allegedly warning people that evil spirits began wandering around the earth having just conquered the sun. Signing the end of the night at dawn, the roosters with their crowing were thought to let people know that the sun has gathered its power and conquered the evil spirits.
In India, it is the attribute of Skandha, personification of solar energy – also known as Lord Murugan. Skanda, is variously known as Lord Murugan a Bachelor god as well as the Karttikeya/Kumara, the Warrior God of War, who wields a bow in battle. The lance called Vel in Tamil is also a weapon closely associated with him. The Vel was given to him by his mother, Parvati, and embodies her energy and power. His army’s standard depicts a rooster. [From Persia/Parthia/Kushan-Bactria to India? In the Iranian counterpart of Skanda, the Avestan deity Sraosa (which had its Sanskrit equivalent 'Srausa' which means "obedient messenger of the sun god") is a killer of demons, like Skanda, has attributes of conqueror, protective martial deity for Zoroastrianism, and acts as the watchful and obedient messenger o f Ahura Mazda, and like Skanda, the cock is an animal sacred to the Sraosa. Sraosa is described in Pahlavi texts as repelling evil powers of the night with the help of a cock. According to Richard D Mann the earliest depiction of Skanda/Karttikeya with a cock and cock statuary comes from Mathura and dates to the Kushana era. The author suggests Parthian coinage influence upon the Bactrian-Kushans and that bird-falcon association with Parthian warrior gods was borrowed by Kushan/Bactrians, and that a Bactrian legend in Greek script identifies the figure holding bird-topped standard found on Kushan coins to be the Hindu-Kushan deity Mahasena. Mann (at p. 126) notes that "all of the cock statues with the bird/cock from the Kushana era occurs in an area geographically close to Parthia, where Scythian and Parthian culture spread ... owes its presence on these statues to those cultures....The cock itself relates these images of Mahasena to another Iranian martial deity Sraosa". According to Mann, Sraosa was assimilated with Indian Karttikeya, the Avesta Mithra is flanked by Rasnu and Sraosa, the latter pair is thought to be the origin of the Indian Purana's Rajna and Srausa. In Pahlavi texts:
"The cock is created to oppose demons and sorcerers, as a collaborator of the dog. As He says in the Religion: those are the material creatures, those are the collaborators of Sros [Sraosa], the dog and the cock … for that cock, they call the bird of righteous Sros. And when it crows, it keeps misfortune away from the creation of Ohrmazd”
Hence, we have two schools of thought, one, that cock symbolism in India originated from the Iranian/Parthian/Bactrian quarter, while the other sees cock symbolism as indigenous to India and hailing from much older fertility cults or festivals. [We break in here to suggest that the beloved folk Jizo deity is likely the Japanese counterpart to Sraosa/Srausa as Jizo is also seen as Conqueror/Victor of death, navigating the Underworld assisting hapless humans, especially children, and equally associated with the appearance of cocks, and their crowing at dawn dispersing the demons in Japanese folklore, although the Jizo icon was later transformed into a bodhisattva with the arrival of Buddhism and the cock association sometimes lost.]
Kukkuta Sastra (Cock Astrology) is a form of divination based on the rooster fight and commonly believed in coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is prevalent in the state, especially in the districts of Krishna, Guntur, East Godavari and West Godavari and the Sankranti festival.
Cocks and cockfighting have been depicted on Indus valley seals and Tamil cities have been named cock-cities which is believed to have occurred with the migrations of the Dwarakans (at about 1,500 B.C. at the end of the Indus civilization) who brought the word “kozhi” for cock and cockfighting practices to pre-existing Tamil lands such as Kerala, Calicut, Urayur, all cock cities associated with kozhi. Cock fighting is a traditional pastime, known also as the 43rd Womenfolk were particularly good at the art and gaNikas (courtesans) of Royal court since the times of Ramayana were trained in the 64 arts including the cock fights.
Despite being forbidden in the Vedic philosophy of sattvic Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Theyyam deities are propitiated through the rooster sacrifice where the religious cockfight is a religious exercise of offering blood to the Theyyam gods. A popular Hindu ritual form of worship of North Malabar in Kerala, India is the Tabuh Rah blood offering to the Theyyam gods. Scandalizing the goddess at Kodungalur is a study of the Cock Festival (or Minam Bharani Festival) at Sri Kurumba Kavu in central Kerala is known for the raucous, erotic, and insulting devotional practices of its participants. Thousands of devotees take part annually in the singing of highly explicit sexual songs and in the ceremonial pollution of the goddess Sri Kurumba’s shrine. This festival is controversial but popular, and resembles in many ways descriptions of the ecstatic cults of the ancient Near East that spread throughout the Greco-Roman empire. Oracles of the goddess, called veliccappatus (illuminators), reveal her wishes through trance and in their possessed state cut their foreheads with swords as they dance.
In 2011 the Madras High Court Bench ordered the rooster fight at Santhapadi and Modakoor Melbegam villages permitted during the Pongal religious festival. Again in 2011 a public interest litigation petition caused the Madras High Court Bench to grant permission to villagers of Kodaioor village to conduct a rooster fight during Deepavali coinciding with a local temple festival from the claims that the “villagers’ religious sentiments would be hurt if the cockfight was not allowed “. In many parts of India, tribal or folk deities are propitiated through cock sacrifice.
Cocks in Hinduism
Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival dependent on the position of the sun and celebration of Sankranti who is considered a Deity for Hindus and is celebrated in many ways including worship for the departed ancestors and to worship Saraswati. In the western Indian state of Gujarat, an event of the Makar Sankranti festival is kozhi kettu, the rooster fight. Kozhi kettu is an ancient ritual of Tulunadu and an ancient ritual associated with the ‘daivasthanams’ (temples) there. Kozhi kettu organized as part of religious events are permitted.
Feathers have been ruffled and controversy brewed when some Hindu temples used a symbol of a peacock rather than a rooster on their flags for Kavady festivals. Gonaseelan Moopanar, chairman of the Hindu temples foundation, confirmed that the rooster was the correct symbol, not the peacock saying, “According to religious scriptures and the teaching of our elders, the rooster is the correct symbol. It has been the symbol for many years. “The peacock symbolises the transport for Lord Muruga, but the rooster is the victory flag.”
Cockfighting arrived in Bali, Indonesia, it is not known when, but probably together with Hindusim. Cockfights,called tajen, meklecan or ngadu, in Balinese, are part and parcel of temple and purification (mecaru) ceremonies. The Tabuh Rah ritual to expel evil spirits always requires a cockfight to spill blood. Tabah Rah literally means pouring blood. There are ancient texts disclosing that the ritual has existed for centuries. It is mentioned in the Batur Bang Inscriptions I from the year 933 and the Batuan Inscription from the year 944 (on the Balinese calendar). The blood of the loser spills on the ground, an offering to the evil spirits.
The dancing also recalls the raucous, erotic and ecstatic rituals of the Cock Festival (or Minam Bharani Festival) at Sri Kurumba Kavu in central Kerala is known for the raucous, erotic rituals. Thousands of devotees take part annually in the singing of highly explicit sexual songs and in the ceremonial pollution of the (attributed to Syrian/Hellenistic world influences) — see Scandalizing the goddess at Kodungalur
Source Out of India and Buddhist iconography
The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names
EARLY RECORDS OF THE DOMESTIC FOWL IN ANCIENT JUDEA
It has been claimed that the domestic fowl first reached Palestine in the second century
B.C. (Wood-Gush 1959, Pinney 1964). This interpretation is consistent with the lack of
mention of cocks or hens in any part of the Old Testament. Archaeological evidence,
however, has indicated that the fowl was known to the inhabitants of ancient Judea at
least half a millennium earlier (Taran 1973).
In excavation at Gibeon (near Jerusalem), dating back to the seventh century B.c.,
potsherds were found incised with figures of cocks and hens (Pritchard 1969). The birdssome
of them placed within the significant six-pointed star of the Magen David-are of an
indeterminate type. It is possible that the double spur of the cock in one figure reveals
the intention of the artist to emphasize its fighting abilities.
Also near Jerusalem, several seals have been found which bear the images of fowls.
Two such seals show fighting cocks in a position of attack. They are similar in form, but
mirror images of one another; on one, the seal of Yaazanjahu, ‘the Servant of the King’,
the cock is facing left (Bad4 1933), and on the other, that of Yaachazjahu, ‘the Son of the
King’, the cock is facing right (Avigad 1969: pls 2, 21). Both are of the same epoch, just
preceding, or even during the time of the destruction of the First Temple (587 B.c.).
Two other seals are in a different style. A seal of Zacher (son) of Hoshea, of thesameepoch
or from an even earlier date, shows a cock, seemingly of the fighting type, caught by a
noose (Diringer 1934: pl. 20, lb). A seal of Sitra (Torrey 1923 : lob, fig. 4) of the Persian
period (5-4 century B.c.), seems to show a sitting hen, spreading her wings in a state of
attack on a predator, protecting her chicks, one of which has crept out from under her
I presume that the cocks of ancient Judea, during the time of the First Temple and a
few centuries afterwards, were all, or at least mostly, of the fighting type. The fact that
the egg as a food is nowhere mentioned in all the Old Testament lends weight to this
supposition. In fact, Judea was in an area where fighting birds were much preferred as
late as the first century A.D. Aldrovandi (1600: 30-31) quoted Varro, Pliny and Collumela,
who praised several breeds of chickens for their pugnacious temper, among them the
Median (Perse), the Rhodian (Rhodes) and Alexandrian (Egypt). The Talmud (Yevamot.
84b.) quoting Rabi Yehuda Hanasi (second century A.D.), mentions a breed or variety of
fowls, named Beit Bokyo, known for their dangerous fighting cocks.
I wish to thank Dr G. A. Clayton for his valuable suggestions, interest and help in publishing this
ALDROVANUDI. ,1 600. The ornithology of Ulisse Aldrovandi 2, Book 14. Translated by L. R. Lind,
1963. Oklahoma University Press.
AVIGADI,. 1969. Collection Eretz-Israel.
BAD& W. F. 1933. The seal of Jaazanjahu. Zeitschrift fur die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 51:
DIRINGESR. 1, 934. Inscrizioni-antico-abraico Palestinezi. Firence.
PINNEYR, . 1964. The animals of the Bible. Philadelphia.
PRITCHARYD. ,B . 1967. The water system of Gibeon. Philadelphia University Press.
TARAN, M. 1973. The chicken in ancient Eretz Israel. Meshek Haofot 9: 580-583.
TORRECY. 1, 923. Annual of the American School of Oriental Research 2.
WOOD-GUSHD,. G. M. 1959. A history of the domestic chicken from antiquity to the’19th century.
Poult. Sci. 38: 321-326.
Haifa, 29, Hankin Road Israel
The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names
Especially the Judeo-Christian references, here in the US the Constitution says you shall not be discriminated against creed, color, or religion. I'm kind of scared we could get religious exemption for many cockers but some left out. I'm not sure yet but I think we may be able to push this here.