October is the beginning of the biggest Hindu festival of the year - Dashain, followed closely by Tihar in early November. The excitement that the Dashain festival engenders is palpable at all levels of society, comparable to the western Thanksgiving or Christmas preparations. It is a time for families to meet. Unlike most of the western world, meeting family entails travelling for hours, if not days, back to one’s village of birth to celebrate with relatives still living in the village. This annual migration of the Nepali population back to their birth-village is astonishing to behold! Laden down with bags and bundles (few have western style baggage), folk pile into and onto any and every means of conveyance available. And by the first day of Dashain, Kathmandu a city with a population of 2.5 million, is all but deserted. No taxis, micro-buses or any other means of public transport are available. If you missed the last buses, then you are stuck! But no worries! Those who have chosen to remain in the city with their families will also celebrate in style. Whilst thousands have left the city for the village, there has been a reverse migration from the villages to the city…an unwilling migration of thousands of cattle, goats and sheep all heading to the numerous Hindu temples scattered in and around the city. Their destiny is to become a bloody decapitated sacrifice to the gods before being taken home and consumed as a family meal. The main temple in Durbar Square in the centre of Kathmandu is more than ankle deep in the blood of these poor creatures, killed in the name of religion. Westerners turn our eyes away in horror. The sounds of the animals, the audible ‘swish’ of the downward slicing stroke of the sacrificial sword, together with the sight and smell of blood, is just too much for our delicate senses. We prefer our slaughter to take place behind closed doors, after which we cheerily make our guilt-free trip to the supermarket to collect our Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey, or goose, or venison, or swine, or whatever.