Alarm: everyone on alert to avoid the slaughter of animals at the Gadhimai Festival

The Gadhimai festival is a religious ceremony of sacrifice that takes place every five years at the Gadhimai Temple in Bariyarpur, about 100 miles south Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.

This celebration is carried out by the Madheshi people, who offer thousands of animal sacrifices to the Hindu goddess Gadhimai.. The belief indicates that with the blood bath evil will end and prosperity will come to earth.

In the last celebration, in 2014, it is estimated that at least 250,000 animals were killed, among water buffalo, pigs, goats, chickens and pigeons. The most shocking estimates indicate deaths of half a million animals.

Article index

  • Gadhimai Festival: stop with the killing
  • How is the Gadhimai Festival
  • Worldwide repudiation
  • Situation prior to this year's festival

Gadhimai Festival: stop with the killing

This year, five years after the last celebration of this mega animal sacrifice, the ceremony should be performed again according to the madeshi tradition. However, the international organization Animal Equality launched a campaign to try to stop the killing of animals at the Gadhimai Festival. This year will be held on December 3 And despite the fact that those in charge of the temple in the city of Bariyarpur announced that they would prevent the slaughter of animals, the alarms are set due to the proximity of the date.

Stop Gadhimai Massacre Campaign Requires Government of India to Send Officials to Stop Massacre. And also that Nepal enact a law prohibiting animal sacrifice.

In the last five years, the Indian and Nepalese authorities have issued different regulations to discourage the bloody practice that emerged 260 years ago. Nevertheless, the Gadhimai Festival is a great money maker. Not only for all the celebrations that take place for weeks before the day of the slaughter. If you travel the Indo-Nepalese border, you will be able to see how these days the arrival of animals that from India they sell to the Nepalese to be offered in sacrifice increases..

The slaughter ban is also a severe economic blow for people who take care of animals for months to sell them at this time. A double farm for animals. First, as an object of merchandise. And then with a fatal outcome.

How is the Gadhimai Festival

Hundreds of thousands of water buffalo, cows, goats, oxen and even doves are mutilated and slaughtered with machetes every five years to offer to the goddess Gadhimai. Animals are slaughtered with the khukuri, a popular saber in the area.

Unfortunately, the state contribution for the organization of the celebration is essential. During the last celebration, it was the Government that was in charge of buying thousands of animals for sacrifices since a lower number was registered than requested because the farmers in the area did not want to get rid of their goats because they had a bad season.

During the entire celebration, four million people flock to the Bariyarpur temple to witness the entire spectacle of death.. Tens of thousands of children are in the audience.

The scenery around the Bariyarpur temple after the celebration is bleak: thousands and thousands of slaughtered animals and an esplanade covered in blood.

After the festival, the remains of the animals -meat, bones and skins - sold to companies in India and Nepal.

Worldwide repudiation

The festival, very popular in Asia, generates more and more repudiation in the West, where culture and major religions no longer have the practice of slaughtering animals as an offering to God or the gods.

In different countries of Europe, organizations for the defense of animal rights periodically demonstrate in front of the embassies of India and Nepal to protest against the ceremony. What's more, the demand for a real commitment of their governments to avoid the massacre is reiterated of animals.

The most famous faces that opposed the Gadhimai Festival were Brigitte Bardot and Maneka Gandhi, who wrote to the government of Nepal asking them to stop the killings. However, his efforts were unsuccessful. In fact, in an official statement prior to the penultimate celebration of this festival, the Nepalese government replied that its officials would not "interfere with the centuries-old tradition of the Madheshi people.".

Situation prior to this year's festival

After years and years of protests, the Supreme Court of Nepal ordered the competent bodies to create an action plan that will discourage and eventually end animal slaughter at the Gadhimai Festival and also in other parts of the country.

What's more, India's Supreme Court issued a ruling prohibiting the trafficking of cattle across the border between Nepal and India during the Gadhimai festival.

For the previous festival, the Animal Welfare Network carried out a silent but tireless fieldwork with farmers in the area to make them aware of the seriousness of the situation.

Combining all these factors, experts from the Nepal Livestock Department estimated that the number of animals slaughtered in 2014 decreased by 50 percent.

This 2019 festival is expected to be the first without the gigantic animal sacrifice. Nevertheless, traditions are very difficult to break in a short time. And even less if it is about religious celebrations. That is why all activists in the world have their eyes on the Gadhimai Temple in Bariyarpur these days.

Interactions with readers


  1. Mariana Franco says

    11/09/2020 at 4:56 pm

    They starve and do this outrage! Oh god ?

  2. Elizabeth says

    11/09/2020 at 7:33 pm

    What a shame the existence of so much ignorance in the century that we are!



  3. Ute ziegler says

    12/21/2020 at 7:58 am



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