Blood for Goddess

Every five years, life in the small village of Ganj Bhawanipur in Nepal changes completely. For one month, the village celebrates Gadhimai, the sacred Hindu goddess of power.


November 2014 was no exception. During the festival, the usually quiet village teems with life. Colourful balloons float in the air and stores of the local liquor, Rakshi, dwindle fast. Domestic animals become sacrificial animals, and all men become slaughterers.The goddess of the 250-year-old festival demands that blood be spilled. In return, she fulfils the wishes of the believers. But what if you wanted the bloody ritual to stop? What if you wanted the small village to have toilets and a proper drugstore, and your father to stop being a murderer? And you yourself to become a doctor?

– Seven-year-old Munapatel talks about his dreams on the eve of the slaughter in which his father participates. Will the goddess reply to Munapatel?

Tiina Madisson’s documentary for the Silminnäkijä (‘Eyewitness’) series at YLE in spring 2015.