Tongue Piercing in the Bisket Jatra (Festival)

2017 April 9 to 16

The Bisket jatra (Festival) is a festival of colors in Bhaktapur, the ancient town in the Kathmanndu valley. The jatra marks the end of the year and the beginning of Nepali New Year.  The festival which is also known as the Sindur jatra (sindur is the vermillion powder), is mainly celebrated for four days. Locally, the festival is highly renowned as the tongue piercing festival.

The cultural thread dates back to the Lichhavi dynasty (c. 450-c. 750), worshipping Bhairabi temple. During the festival, devotees pull the chariot with a great enthusiasm. Basically, Lord Ganesh, Lakshmi and Mahakali are worshipped during the festival. The story behind celebrating the Bisket Jatra is wonderful, which is linked with the slaughter of serpents. Once, there was a prince, who was very beautiful. Prince, who married her, found dead on the next morning. That series went on for a long time. King became disparate with this news. A young and handsome man became ready to marry her after some time. When he went to the bed, he did not sleep, rather prepared himself to fight with life taking cause. At the mid-night, two threadlike things came out of the princess when she sneezed. It was really surprising event that those threadlike things took the enormous shape of venomous serpents. The princess was in deep sleep. The man, taking no longer time, killed and he remained alive. It was unbelievable to be alive on the next morning. After this, celebration of Bisket jatra began, with the use colorful powders and pulling the chariot.   

The festival is also linked with the form of creation. Bhairab and Bhadrakali are worshipped as the pioneer of earthly creation by which the generations are increasing. They are also taken as the sky and earth that encouraged creation. Yoh Si (male genital) is erected on the whole (female genital). It is pulled down as the New Year begins. Traditional musical session goes on. If you love to explore the culture, it’s a grand opportunity to witness this grand celebration.   

The chariot pulling session begins from the Nyatapola temple, a five storied temple in the Bhaktapur Durbar Square. It is hugely celebrated as the Sindur jatra in Madhyapur Thimi, with the Dhimey music. Tongue piercing celebration takes place in Bode of Bhaktapur.

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