Friday, October 23, 2015

Maha Navami

One of the longest and most anticipated festivals in the Nepalese calendar, Dashain is a 15 day Hindu festival which celebrates the victory of good over evil. The ninth day of Dashain, called 'Maha Navami' is the pinnacle of the festival and is punctuated with the ritualistic sacrifice of buffalos, goats, and fowl. It is a time for Nepalese to gather with family, worship at temples, and feast.
Thousands of Nepalese flock to Taleju Temple in Durbar Square, Kathmandu to pay respect to the goddess. It is the only day each year in which the temple is open to the general public.

Goat blood mixed with rice and red pigment at a small temple in Freak St, Kathmandu

A goat is blessed before being sacrificed at the Durbar Square police buildings

Blood from a slain goat covers the floor of the Durbar Square Police Headquarters

Durbar Square Police Headquarters

A freshly sacrificed buffalo's body is ritualistically dragged around its head at the Durbar Square Police Headquarters

Durbar Square Police Headquarters

A buffalo calf's body is haphazardly attached to a bicycle. The freshly slaughtered animals are butchered and eaten. Note the man's t-shirt "Do fries come with the shake?"

The living goddess Kumari, a prepubescent girl, makes a rare public appearance in Durbar Square

A dog, seemingly unbothered by the days events, lies surrounded by hundreds of pigeons 

A buffalo is butchered by a temple in Durbar square. 

In the late afternoon, young children and adults take to the street to fight with kites. The string used to fly the kites is impregnated with glass, while the objective of the game is to sever the string of ones opponent.

Young men fly kites on the rubble of Maju Deval, a 17th century temple that was destroyed by the April earthquakes

Worshipers light fires by the side of a temple.