Asia

In pictures: Hindu animal sacrifice festival in Nepal

More than two million worshippers have travelled to Nepal for the mass slaughter of animals in honour of a Hindu goddess. Some readers may find these pictures upsetting.

Image copyright LAXMI PRASAD NGAKHUSI/EPA
Image caption Worshippers brought their own offerings, such as this buffalo being carried in a rice sack
Image copyright Omar Havana/Getty Images
Image caption Devotees believe the mass sacrifice pleases Gadhimai, the goddess of power
Image copyright Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters
Image caption Organisers say the festival is a generations-old tradition, but animal rights campaigners say it is barbaric
Image copyright ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP
Image caption One of those attending said the atmosphere was "like a carnival"
Image copyright Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi/EPA
Image caption More than 5,000 buffalo were killed on Friday
Image copyright Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters
Image caption Goats, rats, chickens, pigs and pigeons were also brought to the festival for sacrifice
Image copyright Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters
Image caption Vendors at the festival sold sacrificial knives
Image copyright Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters
Image caption The bodies of the animals, filling the air with the smell of freshly slaughtered meat, will eventually be buried in a large pit
Image copyright Sunil Sharma/AP
Image caption It is not yet known how many animals will be slaughtered over the two days, but 300,000 died at the last festival in 2009

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