A video showing a fleet of lit-up boats sailing through a river in zigzag motion is doing rounds on social media. While the text on the video reads,” Sri Mahankaleshwara Devalayam, Miralam Mandi,” a temple located in Hyderabad, it is being shared with the claim that the video is from Kerala on the occasion of ‘Dev Deepawali’ held recently.
However, we found that both texts are misleading as the video is neither from Hyderabad nor from Kerala but from China’s Yulong River.
A user tweeted the video with the caption, “#Deepotsavam in Kerala. 240 boats sailing in the river with lamps.” (See archived link)
The video was shared by the author, and film critic Bhawana Somaaya. “#Deepotsavam in Kerala. 240 boats sailing in the river with lamps. #Diwali celebrations continue,” the author said in the now-deleted tweet.
The video was also widely shared on Facebook with a similar claim. See here for archived link.
We fragmented the video using InVid tool and performed a reverse image search on Google and Yandex on some of the keyframes. This led us a similar video uploaded on Twitter on September 16, 2022. See below for comparison.
The video was captioned, “Golden Dragon in China. Consisting of 88 bamboo rafts cruising on the Yulong River. How awesome is this.”
We ran a keyword search on Google and found a report by China Global Television Network on May 31, 2022. The report carries a video of similarly lit boats cruising through a river. According to CGTN a ‘lengthy dragon boat’ made of ’80 bamboo rafts’ cruised through the Yulong River in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in order to boost tourism in the region.
We also found an article on the government website of Guangxi China. The article updated on May 20, 2022 states, “On May 19, 80 bamboo rafts with golden lights formed a 70-meter “dragon” wandering along the Yulong River in Baisha town’s Yulong village in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, presenting a powerful night vision to visitors.”
“The activity was held as a celebration of the 12th China Tourism Day, and to increase Yulong River’s reputation while creating new night tourism models,” it added.
Thus it is clear that the viral video is not from anywhere in India as it is being claimed.
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