I am so sad to hear that another Gadhimai Festival will be held in Nepal this November. The festival, which is only about 250 years old, takes place every five years. At the last festival, in 2009, it is estimated that around 500,000 water buffaloes, goats and chickens were slaughtered, having their heads severed in a mass sacrificial killing. Families, including young children, came to watch the bloody spectacle. The sacrificial killing is held to please the goddess Gadhimai, to avert evil and bring prosperity. Animal sacrifice is banned in many Indian states, but people travel from northern India to Nepal with their animals to sacrifice them at the festival.