KATHMANDU, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Despite the widespread condemnation from various quarters, thousands of animals were sacrificed en masse on the first day of Gadhimai festival at Bariyapur of Bara district in central Nepal on Tuesday.
According to Wednesday's The Kathmandu Post, a huge number of Hindu devotees had congregated at the Gadhimai Temple to attend the festival, which takes place once in every five years.
To commence the ritual sacrifice, head priest Mangal Chaudhary offered the bloods of freshly slain wild rat, pigeon, rooster, duck, lamb, buffalo and pig were to the goddess.
According to Dhenukh Chaurasiya, vice chairman of Animal Sacrifice Management Sub-committee, at least 16,000 buffalos were slaughtered on the first day.
"The exact number will be out by Wednesday after we finish counting the heads of the buffaloes," he said.
He added that the number of sacrificed animals could be higher this time compared to the previous festival.
The sacrifice of animals was conducted at a concrete slaughterhouse built nearby the temple. More than 200 men equipped with swords and machetes were employed to slay the animals. Thousands of animals, brought by the devotees, were rounded there for sacrifice.
It is believed that one's desire will be fulfilled after offering puja and sacrifice to the goddess, Gadhimai during the festival.
Keeping in view of possible epidemic caused by the carcasses of the slaughtered animals, the festival organizers have contracted local contractors for the carcasses.