Friday, November 27, 2009

Hindu sacrifice of 250,000 animals has begun

The world's largest animal sacrifice begins in Nepal with the killing of more than 250,000 animals as part of a Hindu festival in the village of Bariyapur.
The festivities, which happens every five years ,start off with with the decapitation of thousands of buffalo, killed in honour of Gadhimai, a Hindu goddess of power.
With up to a million worshippers on the roads near the festival grounds, this year's fair seems more popular than ever, despite vocal protests from animals rights groups who have called for it to be banned. "It is the traditional way, " explained 45-year old Manoj Shah, a Nepali driver who has been attending the event since he was six, "If we want anything, and we come here with an offering to the goddess, within five years all our dreams will be fulfilled."
The dead beasts will be sold to companies who will profit from the sale of the meat, bones and hide.
Many Nepalis believe sacrifices in Gadhimai's honour will bring prosperity. They say that by eating the meat, which is taken back to their villages and consumed during feasts, they will be protected from evil.Organisers will funnel the proceeds into development of the area, including the temple upkeep.
Chandan Dev Chaudhary, a Hindu priest, said he was pleased with the festival's high turnout and insisted tradition had to be kept. "The goddess needs blood," he said. "Then that person can make his wishes come true."
Sacrifice is a seen as a way of thanking the deity for good luck, or asking her for fortune and prosperity.
"The goddess needs blood," says Chandan Dev Chaudhury, a priest at the Gadhimai temple in the centre of the festival site.