During a two-day celebration in honor of the goddess of power Gadhimai, Hindus ritually kill thousands of animals. The slaughterhouse takes place in the city of Bariayarpur, in southern Nepal, where thousands of believers gathered.
Despite endeavors to end the practice, the festival is still considered to be the biggest animal sacrifice in one place, according to AFP. 250,000 animals were killed in 2009; five years ago, Hindus sacrificed 200,000 animals. Believers cut buffaloes, goats, pigs, even rats on a fenced area, larger than a football pitch, that serves this purpose.
Activists and official authorities have been making long-term efforts to reduce the number of animal victims. A representative of the organization Animal Equality India said that the number of animals sacrificed is gradually decreasing.
The Year 2019
The Gadhimai Festival, which takes place every 5 years, began this Wednesday, December 4, with the ritual killing of goat, rat, chicken, pig and pigeon. Then the local shaman offered blood from five points of his body. The final number of animals sacrificed this year is not known yet.
Watching pilgrims can either cook the remains or leave the organizers to bury them.
When Faith Kills
According to legend, the first victims in Bariyarpur were sacrificed several centuries ago when the goddess Gadhimai appeared in a prisoner’s dream and told him to offer blood and build a temple. When the prisoner awoke, his shackles opened, and he could leave the prison and build a temple where he sacrificed animals to thank to the goddess.
“We have tried not to support it, but people have faith in tradition and have come here with their offers,” said Birendra Prasad Yadav, a member of the festival organizing committee.
Animal Equality Germany has posted a reportage on this ritual holiday on its YouTube channel (notice: video contains very violent and brutal footage).
Source and credit: Youtube / AnimalEquality Germany