Bara, December 3
The annual ritual sacrifice of animals and fowls has begun at Gadhimai shrine in Bara’s Mahagadhimai Municipality from today.
The two-day ritual kicked off formally with a group of main priests offering ‘panchabali’ (the practice of sacrificing select five animals and birds) at the shrine at Bramhasthan near the temple, which is located in Bariyarpur in Mahagadhimai Municipality, in the morning.
Though the first day of the sacrificial ritual was exclusively for he-buffaloes, other animals and birds were also offered today.
It should be noted that the home ministry has not given permission to the fair management committee to carry out sacrifices owing to the Supreme Court’s order this year.
Despite this, the ritual was observed today by offering various animals and fowls to the goddess here.
“Last year, around 5,000 buffaloes were sacrificed. This year, the number could go up to 10,000 or more,” said Gadhimai Fair Management Committee general secretary Moti Kushwaha, adding that an equal number of birds and he-goats would also be offered in sacrifice.
Meanwhile, photojournalists, who had reached the sacrifice site to click photo, were barred from entering the site.
Sources have interpreted the committee’s act of shutting out photojournalists as an attempt to keep the massive sacrifice a low-key event amidst the protest of animal rights groups and calls to stop ritual sacrifice.
A version of this article appears in print on December 04, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.