Hundreds of thousands of Hindu devotees have converged on the town of Bariyapur in southern Nepal for the Gadhimai festival. [Warning: some of the pictures that follow may be disturbing]
Butchers had to be prepared to slaughter hundreds of thousands of animal sacrifices for festival, which takes place once every five years.
Licences were granted to 250 local men who will slaughter the animals using traditional khukuri knives.
Hindu devotees take part in a number of religious rituals before the killings can begin.
More than 200,000 animals will be killed over two days as a way of placating Gadhimai, a goddess of power.
The event is believed to be the world's largest animal sacrifice, with many devotees each bringing a creature to offer up to the goddess.
The slaughter has been condemned by animals right activists who say that it is cruel and barbaric and that Hindu gods can be appeased by fruit and flower sacrifices instead.
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