Following our first night of feasting on a smörgåsbord of goat product, we awoke to wild drumming and parades of people with flags, dancing men, and herds of beasts. They all seemed to be making their way toward the various small temples that sit atop many of the hills in our area.
As we approached the large gathering, we realized that this was the portion of Dashain we had been told about all week: the “goat cutting.” There was a trail of blood leading up the path, and decapitated goats, water buffalo, and chickens were strewn all about. We (thankfully) had just missed the actual cutting, but apparently the process involves leading the animal up to the temple as a sacrifice to the gods. The goats are given a ritual offering of rice, and if their reaction to it is auspicious–I believe that if they shudder they become exempt from sacrifice, or perhaps the other way around–they are beheaded with a sickle.
As the animals were carried away, everyone had their hands full. This man, one of my personal favorites, had secured his family’s meal in an easy-to-carry bundle which, if one only glances at quickly, is easily mistaken for a briefcase.
Just a man and his goat.
Goating, goating, goating.