The 'world's largest animal sacrifice' in praise of Goddess Gadhimai in Nepal

The 'world's largest animal sacrifice' in praise of Goddess Gadhimai in Nepal
The 'world's largest animal sacrifice' in praise of Goddess Gadhimai in Nepal
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The News Minute | October 11, 2014 | 11 am IST

Last celebrated in 2009 amidst protests and pleas for a call-off, the world’s largest sacrifice of animals is all set to take place this November in Nepal with a gigantic figure of about 500,000 animals set to be slaughtered according to Human Society International organization.

The two-day long festival held once every five years is set to happen once again at the Gadhimai temple in Bariyarpur not considering protests.

The festival is celebrated in praise of Gadhimai, the goddess of power with sacrifice being seen as an approach for thanking the god for luck, and asking for good fortune and prosperity.

Apart from buffaloes, even goats, chickens, pigeons and rats are set to be sacrificed at the event.

Even in 2009 animal activists spoke out against the methods used to kill animals. We are not asking them to stop the festival, but it could be done in a less gory way, said one of the organizers in 2009 according to a BBC report. The sacrifice was said to be sponsored by the Nepal government and has also meant better business with the remains of the animals sold to companies in Nepal and India.

However, just over a month before the festival is set to begin, animal welfare organizations have taken up efforts to get the Gadhimai festival called off. According to Humane Society International website, many of the animals die even before the main sacrifice without access to sufficient food, water and shelter.

The ones that ensure survival are killed by people with no training in proper slaughter which could result in painful death, said the website.

According to The Guardian, the origins of the festival began about 260 years ago when Bhagwan Chaudhary, a feudal lord imprisoned in a fort, dreamt that all his problems would be solved if he made a blood sacrifice. 

Apart from the sheer number of animals being sacrificed, protests are more concentrated on the grotesque manner in which the animals are sacrificed.

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