Vietnam bans annual pig slaughter during Lunar New Year

Local villagers in northern Vietnam said they would comply with orders to scale back a popular but bloody animal sacrifice over the Lunar New Year, officials said Monday.

The annual pig slaughter in recent years was held in northern Bac Ninh province on the sixth day of the Lunar New Year, but the government ordered a nationwide ban on such killings in December.

"We want to keep the pig sacrifice festival unchanged, but the city's officials are very serious about [enforcing the ban]," said Nguyen Dinh Loi, deputy chief of the ceremony's organizing committee.

In prior years, pigs were held down with ropes and sliced in half across the belly or decapitated as part of the celebrations. Residents then dipped money in the blood for good luck.

This year, the killing will not be done in public, Loi said.

"We will slaughter pigs in the usual way as a butcher does," he said.

The first day of the Lunar New Year is February 8.

In Hanoi, the Ministry of Culture also cancelled the final round of an annual buffalo fighting festival set to be held later in February. 

The Phuc Tho Buffalo Fighting Festival, which ends with the slaughtering of its participants, was banned by the Hanoi Department of Culture last week.

Last update: Mon, 01/02/2016 - 12:54
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