The Gadhimai Festival in Bariyarpur, Nepal has been in the news since yesterday for its barbaric act of mass animal killing in the name of holy sacrifice. Not just animal lovers but animal rights authorities have been working towards banning animal sacrifice during the festival. Here are a few facts that you should know about the unkind Gadhimai Festival.
1. As an old tradition, Gadhimai festival is held every five years for the goddess of power, Gadhimai.
2. Gadhimai festival is viewed as the world’s largest animal sacrifice ritual.
3. The devotees of this festival believe that ritual brings good luck.
4. Devotees from Nepal and bordering India come to sacrifice buffaloes, goats and birds while offering prayers to Gadhimai, the goddess of power.
5. According to them the ritual is supposed to please Gadhimai, the Hindu goddess of power, who will in return answer their wishes.
6. The ritual begins before dawn in the fields outside Gadhimai temple in Bariyarpur.
7. The devotees spend the night in a vehicle trailer until the buffaloes are sacrificed
8. The priest offers a few drops of his own blood combined with that of a rat, chicken, pigeon, goat, and pig in front of Gadhimai’s statue in the temple.
9. Approximately, 200,000 animals and birds were slaughtered during the 2009 Gadhimai festival.
10. Animal rights activists publicly denounce Gadhimai Festival as barbaric. All devotees know that there are activists who are fighting for anti-animal killing rituals, but they still carry on with the sacrifices every 5 years.
11. This year the number of buffaloes killed dropped to 5,000. That is half of the number of buffaloes slaughtered during the last festival.
12. The number of buffaloes killed went down because the Indian court banned transporting of animal from India to Nepal,
13. The festival offers a family picnic spot, with little novelties to buy, exciting stunts, delicious food and fun rides for the kids.
14. Thousands of buffaloes are killed in a huge compound surrounded by a high wall. Some curios people climb this wall to witness the sacrifice.
15. Veterans of Gadhimai festivals declare that the job of killing the buffaloes is of great honour to them.
Watch this video of animal sacrifice at the Gadhimai Festival (if you can)!
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