Nepal: Animal Sacrifice Banned at Gadhimai Festival

The Gadhimai festival, the world’s largest animal sacrifice held in Nepal, will see no more bloodshed as animal sacrifice has now been banned. The Gadhimai Temple Trust has put an end to a religious practice that had been continuing for the last 300 years. The festival is held for every five years.

In 2009, more than five lakh animals including goats, buffaloes and chickens were slaughtered at the Gadhimai festival, though the number reportedly fell in the festival held last year to about 1 lakh. Animal activists cheered the ban on the ritual. The Human Society International/India, which campaigned against the festival, said that millions of animal lives will now be saved.

More Facts About Gadhimai
  • Gadhimai Temple is situated at Bariyarpur, in Bara District, about 160 km south of the capital Kathmandu, near the Indo-Nepal border, adjacent to Bihar.
  • It is primarily celebrated by the Madheshi and Bihari people.
  • Gadhimai Temple is a temple of the sacred goddesses of power, in Hindu religion.
  • Male domestic Asian water buffaloes are the preferred species to offer to the goddess.
  • The 2009 event drew the attention of celebrities like Maneka Gandhi and Brigitte Bardot, who raised their voices against the killings.
  • After the festival, the meat, bones and hides of the animals are sold to companies in India and Nepal.