Happy Gadhimai Day!

While today is the largest consumption of turkeys in the year, Nepal still holds the record for the largest sacrifice of animals. This week Nepal will carry out the ritualistic slaughter of more than 250,000 animals as part of the blood sacrifice to Gadhimai, a Hindu goddess of power. Most of the killings occur at and around the Gadhimai temple of Bariyapur.

Every five years, animals are decapitated in order to guarantee that wishes will be granted for the next five years.

While animal rights activists have stepped up protests against the sacrifices, the festival has attracted a record crowd of Hindu faithful who brings animals for sacrifice. They believe, as stated by Manoj Shah, “If we want anything, and we come here with an offering to the goddess, within five years all our dreams will be fulfilled.” .

The blood letting begins at dawn with the sacrifice of two rats, two pigeons, a pig, a lamb and a rooster in the main temple before moving on to 10,000 buffalo. (The slaughter officially ended on November 25th though some celebration continues today).

The government supports the sacrifices and priests insist that it is a necessary ritual. Priest Chandan Dev Chaudhary, put it succinctly: “The goddess needs blood. Then that person can make his wishes come true.”

Just to cover my bets, I bought a fresh turkey this year and I have festooned my grill for Gadhimai.

For the photos (warning: graphic) of the sacrifices, click here.

For the full story, click here and here and here.

3 thoughts on “Happy Gadhimai Day!”

  1. Srsly, if you were an alien and the only thing you knew about a new, first-contact opportunity is that the second most populous nation/state on the newly discovered planet was going to slaughter 250,000 fellow creatures because “The goddess needs blood” then would you ring that doorbell or just keep looking for intelligent life?

  2. The goddess needs blood.

    Well sheeeeeeeee-it! That’s good enough excuse for wanton cruelty and violence for me! Sign me up! I’m going to offer up K St. and see if my wishes for a corruption free electoral process will be granted.

    And for the Goddess of Power you say?

    No kidding.

    You guys, especially you guys in Nepal, you do realize that your boy the actual historical Buddha would tell you that you are polluting your karma with such a practice?

    The goddess needs blood. Ehhhh, I don’t think so. More like the priests need a sadistic card to play in their advertising campaign. This is the religious equivalent of serving deep-fried still living fish. It’s barbarism used as commercialism. It appeals to the Geek Show set. And I do mean geek in the traditional sense of the word as derived from carnival practices.

    Real death is only entertaining if you aren’t truly alive.

    Wake up.

  3. Hey now,

    This does seem funky. But if the man in Texas can do it to his goats then why can’t their animals be sacrificed? Are they eaten as part of the ritual?

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