People bring a goat to the sacrificial ceremony of Gadhimai festival near a temple in Bariyapur, Bara, Nepal, Dec. 3, 2019. Hindu devotees celebrate the Gadhimai festival, which takes place once in every five years, with the blood of freshly slain animals as the ritual sacrifice to Gadhimai, the goddess of power. (Photo by Sunil Sharma/Xinhua)
BARA, Nepal, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of thousands of people from across Nepal and India have gathered in Bariyapur of Bara district to celebrate Gadhimai festival, which is known as the world's biggest animal sacrifice.
The festival, which is celebrated in every five years, is being celebrated for a month since mid-November. However, Tuesday and Wednesday marks the most important days, when thousands of animals including buffaloes, goats, chicken and other animals are sacrificed.
The region, located some 160 km south of the capital Kathmandu near the Indo-Nepal border, has been turned into the largest carnival, filled with people from all age and different walks of life, livestock, music, shops and the colorful decors.
According to the local festival organizing committee, the number of devotees has increased significantly this year as compared to 2014.
"We are expecting large number of devotees from Nepal and India in the next two days. We have no exact estimation till now since the flow is really high," Ganesh Bahadur Kushwaha, vice chairman of the organizing committee, told Xinhua on Monday evening.
Animal sacrifice is the major attraction of the festival, which is practiced since at least 250 years ago. People sacrifice animals either with a wish to get rid of problems and for good health and prosperity in family or after their promises are fulfilled.
Some people make blood sacrifice to appease goddess Gadhimai, who is regarded as a powerful deity. In addition, people also offer coconuts, sweets, red color clothes and flowers among others.
At least six to seven thousands buffaloes have already been registered to the organizing committee for sacrifice in the last few days, according to the local volunteers.
"We are receiving buffaloes from both Nepal and India, and it will continue till Tuesday morning. We will not allow anyone to see the sacrifice, which will be conducted in a well-managed manner inside the fenced walls," Kushwaha told Xinhua.
According to the official, the formal sacrifice will begin after Gadhimai temple priest Mangal Chaudhary conducts special puja after midnight followed by sacrifices at the temple.
Hundreds of vehicles from Nepal and India have been parked in some 6-km-long road stretch from Kalaiya-Gadhimai, while people have been spending night under the open sky with open live kitchen.