Pigs are splayed on their back then hacked into pieces with a machete sword until cut in half across their waist. Done as a sacrifice to God on the 6th day of the first lunar month. Cutting a 220 lb pig in half does not happen quickly. Pigs scream in agony and terror as their blood squirts into the air. This is the exact purpose of the pig cutting festival. Its for local Vietnamese people to squeal with excitement and dip their bank notes in the pigs hot blood. People believe this brings good luck for the year.
The festival is celebrated in Bac Ninh; a northern province. It starts with a lion dance in a courtyard as women prepare special water with red dye for the two pigs to be bathed in.
The pig parade begins at 10am with dancers, incense and offerings. Each pig had been carefully selected and fostered for months, in preparation for the festival slaughter.
The two executioners are selected by age, family and good standing in the community.
Bathed and dyed red each pig is trussed and tied into ceremonial parade carts. A few years ago they used to be carried upside down on a pole and paraded through the town. Tied onto the parade cart is not much better. Throughout the 2 mile walk parading the pig through the streets, excited onlookers scream, clap, take close up photos of the pig’s terrified face and touch him.
At noon the signal flag is waved to mark the beginning of the ceremony.
In previous years the slaughter ceremony was held publicly in the village courtyard, with thousands of spectators chanting and screaming for blood. Parents would push their little children to the front row so they could get to the blood first – maybe even get sprayed in blood with each strike of the machete. Western and European children would be traumatized for life if they had to witness this.
Blood soaked bank notes were placed on alters in their house to pray for health, success and prosperity. After years of public outrage by local people across the country and foreigners around the world, the government told them to tone it down a bit. After two years hiatus due to covid the festival went ahead this year. It was held behind metal railings and block-out sheets with police stationed outside. Observers were hand picked and were allowed into the covered area by invitation only.
Fight Dog Meat rescues dogs and cats in Vietnam. We rescue some of the most critically injured anywhere, from Vietnam’s brutal meat trade. We have our own FDM Doggie Ranch facility in Saigon. FDM will continue exposing what is happening to the animals and the struggles imposed on local animal lovers. FDM is helping local animal lovers have a louder voice on a world platform. Ultimately it’s the voice of the country’s own people whom their government will eventually be forced to listen to, for positive change for animals.
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