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Festival: Diverting from an age-old tradition, some villagers in Tsendagang gewog in Dagana have stopped slaughtering chickens and goats during the Dassain festival.

Hindus believe that goddess Durga, in all her manifestation, are worshipped with innumerable pujas, abundant offering and thousands of animals sacrifices for the ritual holy bathing thus drenching the goddess for days in blood.

“It is our old age tradition to slaughter animal on the eve of Dassain and offer them to goddess Durga, but many people are now not slaughtering,” an elderly man from Tsendagang said. “I bought 10 kilograms of pork instead.”

Tsendagang Gup Bal Bahadur Rana said he stopped killing goats about nine years ago. “We have been buying meat for the celebration both at home and for the party organized for the people,” he said. Stopping the sacrificing of animals, especially goats, was voluntary with villagers following others who have already stopped the practice.

There is a lot of unofficial campaign against killing, said a resident, Ganesh. “It is not good to kill the same goat that we raise like our children,” he said adding that he has decided save a goat each Dassain.

Ganesh said the belief that the gods wouldn’t be pleased if animals were not sacrificed is strong in the Hindu community. “But killing is a sin and we decided not to kill just to celebrate,” he said.

Dassain is a Hindu festival that commemorates the victory of the good over evil.

Yeshey Dema, Dagapela

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