Hindu religious worshipers in Nepal have begun slaughtering thousands of buffalo in a major religious ceremony that is alleged to be the world's largest animal sacrifice.
The massive animal slaughter is believed by some Hindus to bring good luck. Religious devotees also believe the sacrifice is pleasing to Gadhimai, who Hindus believe to be the goddess of power.
The spectacle, in which buffalo mothers are often slaughtered in front of their calves, has drawn sustained criticism from animal rights activists. A local official with Humane Society International called witnessing the festival "one of the most depressing and challenging experiences of my life."