The largest animal sacrifice in the world begins: Thousands of buffalo are slaughtered in Nepal by 200 swinging butchers in the walled arena despite protest over the bloodshed
- GRAPHIC CONTENT: Gadhimai festival started Tuesday in Nepal, despite a ban on temple authorities in 2015
- Sacrifice ceremony, held every five years, kicked off with the slaughter of a goat, rat, chicken, pig and pigeon
- It was hoped that the bloodshed would end after the Supreme Court of Nepal ordered the government to discourage it
Hindu worshipers with swords and knives began to slaughter thousands of buffalo on Tuesday in & # 39; the world's largest animal sacrifice in Nepal, despite attempts to end the bloodshed.
The Gadhimai festival, which is held every five years, began in Bariyarpur in the early hours amidst tight security, with the ceremonial slaughter of a goat, rat, chicken, pig and a pigeon. A local shaman then sacrificed blood from five points of his body.
Some 200 butchers with sharpened swords and knives then entered a walled arena that was larger than a soccer field with thousands of buffalo while excited pilgrims climbed trees to catch a glimpse of the action.
& # 39; The offerings started today … We had tried not to support it, but people have faith in the tradition and have come here with their offerings & quot ;, said Birendra Prasad Yadav of the festival organizing committee.
A butcher waves his knife to kill a buffalo while the sacrificial ceremony begins during the Gadhimai festival in Bariyarpur in Nepal
Men drag a dead buffalo over an animal enclosure awaiting sacrifice on Tuesday as the ceremonial slaughter began
Hindu devotees ride in the back of a vehicle while traveling with a goat to the festival in Baryarpur, south of Kathmandu
A butcher waves his knife to sacrifice a buffalo in a closed complex during the age-old ceremony, which is held once every five years
On Wednesday, photo & # 39; s captured butchers while using swords to slaughter buffalo's marked with red paint, like dozens of waving weapons in the air as they watched.
Thousands of worshipers from Nepal and neighboring India have slept outside for days and offered prayers for the event in the village of Bariyarpur, close to the Indian border.
& # 39; I believe in the goddess. My mother had asked her for my son's good health, & said Rajesh Kumar Das, 30, with a goat in his hand.
An estimated 200,000 animals ranging from goats to rats were slaughtered during the last two-day Gadhimai festival in 2014, held in honor of the Hindu goddess of power.
A devotee wrapped in a blanket sits near his temporary hiding place while waiting for the Gadhimai festival to start on Tuesday
A Hindu devotee kills a buffalo while dozens of dead animals are lying on the ground in Bariyarpur, southern Nepal
A buffalo lies dead in a fence for animals awaiting slaughter on Tuesday. An estimated 200,000 animals ranging from goats to rats were slaughtered during the last two-day Gadhimai festival
Hindu devotees in brightly colored clothing help each other cross a dark river near the location of the controversial festival
Worshipers pray when they arrive for the Gadhimai festival to be held Tuesday in Bariyarpur, southern Nepal
Men lead buffalo with bright orange capes in a fence early on Tuesday morning while the festival started
A volunteer controls a crowd with the help of a stick during the ritual before the sacrifice of the Gadhimai festival
Many hoped that the age-old tradition would end after the temple authorities announced a ban in 2015 and the Nepal Supreme Court ordered the government to discourage bloodshed a year later.
But animal rights activists say that both government agencies and temple commissions have not implemented these statements.
Indian border authorities and volunteers have confiscated dozens of animals in recent days that have been brought across the border by non-licensed traders and pilgrims, but this has not stopped the flow.
According to legend, the first sacrifices were made in Bariyarpur a few centuries ago when the goddess Gadhimai appeared to a prisoner in a dream and asked him to found a temple for her.
Hindu devotees raise their sacrificial sheets to heaven while the controversial festival ceremony begins on Wednesday
On Tuesday, an excavator was seen that pushed dead buffalo into a hole before being buried after the ceremonial slaughter
A group of men drag a dead animal through a fence with buffalo, while another volunteer pushes it from behind on Tuesday
Hindu devotee slaughtering a buffalo as a sacrifice during the Gadhimai festival in Bariyarpur on Wednesday morning
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