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Gadhimai Festival: Nepal Blooded In ‘Sacrifice’ of Over 5,000 Animals

Nepal seemed to be dipped in the cry of tens of thousands of helpless animals and in their blood on Friday as the people witnessed the largest animal sacrifice ritual, in which more than 5,000 animals were killed on the first day, in the fields outside Gadhimai temple in Bariyarpur.

The ritual takes place with an aim of pleasing Gadhimai, the Goddess of power, and sacrifice animals including buffaloes, pigs, birds, goats, rats and chicken, in gratitude to the God. As per reports, millions of devotees take place in every festival. The ritual killings were performed by more than 200 men in a concrete slaughterhouse near the temple.

Apart from the ritual, while the festival appears as an occasion for people to enjoy, slaughtering of thousands of buffaloes in a huge compound surrounded by a high wall has paved way for protests by animal right activists.

The festival takes place in every five year. Though many animal right activists came up pointing out the brutal killing of about 2,00,000 animals and birds in the name of ‘sacrifice ritual’ during the 2009 festival, devotees and religious authorities considered it to be against their religious rituals and beliefs.

Meanwhile, activists including Brigitte Bardot and Maneka Gandhi have written to the Nepalese government asking them to stop the practice whereas the government official replied that they would not “interfere in the centuries-old tradition of the Madheshi people.”

However, after the mass sacrifice of animals, the meat, bones and hides of the animals are reportedly sold to the companies in India.

The festival which commenced in mid-November will conclude today, with the mass killing of animals on the second day of two-day sacrifice.


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