I watch an 18-month-old girl hold tight to her father’s hand as she waddles over to the decapitated goat. Blood, oozing from its neck, has coagulated; flies land furiously on the bright red stump where the head once was. The little girl stops to stare at the carcass a few inches away from her feet. I’m transfixed by her little white shoes, the blood, and the motionless, hairy carcass. Her father is busy on a cell phone, talking distractedly while the little girl swerves slightly, catching her balance.

 

*Warning: This slideshow contains graphic images.

It’s a busy sacrifice day at Ganesh’s Surjya Binayak temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Barefooted women in red saris, young men and women in jeans checking their cell phones for messages, and children in their Sunday best all line up… More…