Famous tongue piercing festival Bisket Jatra starts in Bhaktapur

Bisket Jatra, a colourful festival celebrated with much pomp and fanfare in ancient city of Bhaktapur, the sister city of Kathmandu, has started from Thursday.

The famous festival, which is observed for eight consecutive nights and nine days, has been marked since the Lichchhivi era (c. 450-c. 750), according to historical records.

The Jatra officially starts from today after the Guthi Sansthan offers worship in Bhairabi temple nearby Paanchtale temple in Naumadi.

During the festival, a chariot procession is held in Bhaktapur and images of Ganesh, Lakshmi and Mahakali are carried around town.

The festival is also famous for an exciting tongue piercing ceremony that takes place during the chariot procession. A volunteer from the Shrestha family gets his tongue pierced in a spiritual trance with an iron spike and walks around the town shouldering a round bamboo rack with flaming torches. It is believed that the successful completion of this painful rite brings good fortune to the villagers & the volunteer himself.

source: nepalnews.com, 10 April 2014

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