Gadhimai Temple Trust of Nepal on 28 July 2015 banned animal sacrifice that occurs during Gadhimai festival, the world’s biggest animal sacrifice event held once in every five years.
The temple authorities have announced the end of the centuries-old Hindu tradition of slaughter that attracts hundreds of thousands of worshippers. The authorities also urged devotees not to bring animals to the festival that will be next held in the year 2019.
The temple authorities’ decision came after years of intense lobbying and campaigning by animal rights activists who applauded the animal sacrifices during the festival.
As per estimates, in November 2014 during the Gadhimai festival that took place in Bariyapur village near Indian border, about 2.5 million worshippers sacrificed an estimated 2 lakhs animals. In 2009, the figure was an estimated 5 lakhs animals.
The tradition of sacrificing animals is almost 400-years old. According to legends, the first sacrifices in Bariyapur were made when Gadhimai appeared to a prisoner in a dream and asked him to establish a temple to her. When he awoke, his shackles had fallen open and he was able to leave the prison and build the temple, where he sacrificed animals to give thanks.
Since then, pilgrims from Nepal and India flock to this village to sacrifice thousands of animals in the hope of appeasing the Hindu goddess of power, Gadhimai so as to have better wealth and life.
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What: Banned by Nepal
When: 28 July 2015