Warning: the video included below contains graphic images.
The Gadhimai festival of Bara district in Nepal takes place every five years; attendees believe a fairytale that they will have good luck by hacking to death over a half a million animals. A thousand men are hired to do the killing and prior to the massacre they celebrate and drink heavily. When the killing begins the drunken men, inexperienced in slaughter and armed with dull, unsharpened knives and machetes cause the animals to die a long, slow agonizing death.
"Wielding swords, men enter a fenced yard where around 20,000 are kept, and start hacking at the buffaloes' necks. As the killers cannot chop off the buffaloes' heads at once, they first cut the hind legs. After the animal falls on the ground the men hack until the buffalo's head is separated from the body. It takes up to twenty five attempts to kill a big buffalo. The suffering is unimaginable," says Pramada Shah, president of the Animal Welfare Network Nepal During the slaughter the nearby lake is so filled with the blood of the animals that absolutely nothing can live in the water for years, it takes almost five years for the lake to regenerate. By then it is bloodbath time again. Prior to the "festival" the animals are made to walk up to 500 miles from India to Nepal. Most are starved and deprived of water the entire trip. They are beaten and tortured to keep moving and many animals die along the way. Once at the site the massacre takes place in an open field with spectators, including women and children, watching and cheering on as mother buffaloes are killed in front of their young. Animals sit in a pool of blood waiting for their own brutal end. Many animals try to escape but are hunted down.