The 14 Worst ‘Festivals’ Still Taking Place Today

It’s almost impossible to believe that animals are being tortured and killed in the name of entertainment and tradition. Make sure that you keep these 14 cruel events off your travel itinerary:

1. Kots Kaal Pato, Mexico

In Citilcum, Yucatán, iguanas and opossums are stuffed into piñatas, which are then beaten with sticks. The animals who survive the initial assault are later killed by the crowd. At the end of the festival, a duck is hung from a wooden scaffold and contestants try to grab him or her, which breaks the bird’s neck and splatters the audience with blood.

2. Tlacotalpan Bull Festival, Mexico

Festival de toros de Tlacotalpan

During this annual fiesta in Veracruz, bulls are force-fed alcohol, dragged across a river by boats, and then beaten and stabbed.

3. Torneo de Lazo, Mexico

Torneo de Lazo

In this rodeo-style event in Yucatán, horses are eviscerated by charging bulls. Although this cruelty is against the law, officials have taken no action to stop it.

4. Festival of the Ox (Farra do Boi), Brazil

During Brazil’s “Farra do Boi,” oxen are chased, punched, kicked, and beaten with sticks, knives, whips, stones, and ropes. Their eyes are rubbed with hot pepper and gouged out. Their limbs are broken, and their tails are snapped and hacked off. And some are even doused with gasoline and set on fire. Any oxen who survive are eventually killed, and their flesh is divided among the participants.

5. Gadhimai Festival, Nepal

Festival Gadhimai

Every five years near the Nepal-India border, more than 100,000 buffalo, goats, chickens, ducks, and other animals are massacred.

6. Nem Thuong Pig-Slaughter Festival, Vietnam

Terrified pigs are tied by all four legs and forced onto their backs, spread-eagle. A large sword is then used to cut the screaming animals in half.

7. Yulin Dog-Meat Festival, China

Yulin Dog-Meat Festival

Thousands of dogs are rounded up and crammed into cages with no food or water. Then they’re transported hundreds of miles to be slaughtered and eaten.

8. Umkhosi Ukweshwama, South Africa

In a test of “manhood,” young warriors chase a bull around an enclosure, wrestle him to the ground, and kill him by breaking his neck or smothering him.

9. Toro de la Vega, Spain

Toro de la Vega

This annual event takes place in the town of Tordesillas, where a bull is chased through the streets and stabbed to death with spears.

10. Pero Palo Festival, Villanueva de la Vera, Spain

A terrified donkey in the village of Extremadura is pushed, pulled, kicked, bitten, and dragged by crowds of drunken revelers—and alcohol is sometimes forced down the animal’s throat. The donkey

11. Running of the Bulls (San Fermín Fiestas), Spain


In Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls—which is part of the San Fermín fiestas—bulls are prodded and goaded to make them panic and run down cobblestone streets. Screaming people run alongside the animals, grabbing and twisting their tails and hitting them with sticks and rolled-up newspapers. They’re then stabbed to death in bullfighting arenas.

12. Shearing of the Beasts (La Rapa das Bestas), Spain


In this Galician event, wild horses are corralled and men and women jump on top of them, pulling their necks and tails in an attempt to wrestle them to the ground. Once the horses are overcome, the “fighters” brand them and shear their manes and tails.

13. Toro Jubilo, Spain

Residents attach balls of flammable tar (or pitch) to the horns of terrified, restrained bulls. The animals’ horns are then set on fire, and the panicked bulls—who are either tied to stakes in public squares or released to run madly through the streets—are left to burn for hours. The tar scorches their faces, eyes, and bodies. Many reportedly crash into walls in agony and blind terror. Their carcasses are later divided among the participants for consumption. Residents apparently believe that consuming the flesh of the tortured animals confers fertility and invincibility.

14. Grindadráp, Faroe Islands


Entire pods of pilot whales are surrounded by boats and forced onto the shore, where their throats are cut.

What You Can Do

The most important thing you can do to help put an end to these bloody spectacles is never to attend one.

Please share this information with your friends and family and encourage them not to attend these cruel and deadly festivals, either.

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