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Buddha Krishna pierces tongue for ninth time, wants to retire from ritual tongue piercing as part of Bisket Jatra


By Ramesh Giri, BHAKTAPURU:- Buddha Krishna Wag Shrestha has voluntarily got his tongue pierced for the ninth time as part of the Bisket Jatra festival that has started here Friday.
On the second day of the nine-day festival, hundreds of devotees and revelers gathered at around Pancho Temple at Bode of Madyapurthimi Municipality in Bhaktapur while the 49-year-old shunted himself onto the rostrum constructed for the celebrators where he was set to pierce his tongue.
He was guarded by his protectors with the latter carrying lit incenses and throwing pieces of flowers and akshata (uncooked rice grains mixed with curd and vermillion powder) to the names of gods and goddess. At the spot, a 10-inch-long needle soaked in oil for one month was ready for him. Amid fanfares and slogans chanted by the devotees and celebrators, he got his tongue pierced with the needle.
Following this, he greeted devotees and revelers before leaving. He, with the needle being stuck in his tongue, walked one hour through settlements at Bode and reached Bhangu settlement where he entered the Mahalaxmi Temple and took off and put the needle there. This marked the conclusion of the tongue piercing festival for this year.
He then took a pinch of soil from the temple and put it in his wounded tongue with the belief that it will heal his wounded tongue.
Buddha Krishna, who worked for Nepal Korea Friendship Municipality Hospital run by the Municipality as an ambulance driver, announced an end to his voluntary tongue-piercing ritual as part of the festival.
A person wishing to get his tongue pierced has to be from the Shrestha clan of Newar community and he has to fast for three days beforehand.
The festival believed to bless the participants with good health, prosperity and good fortunes is observed by erecting a wooden pole (lingo) at Tamhari square. On the occasion, the local people of Thane (upper town) and Kone (lower town) of Bhaktapur district get engaged in a ‘tug of war’ in which young people pull the three-storey chariot of lord Bhairab into their town.
“I continued to have got my tongue pierced this time too to protect the festival that is at the brink of disappearance. I did this for the ninth times,” he said while urging his young descendants to be ready for next year to continuing the tongue-piercing ritual as he was retiring.
In the past, he pierced his tongue three times in a row (from 2061 BS to 2064 BS). After his mother’s death, he took a break for consecutive seven years (from 2065 BS to 2072 BS). During the period, his place was taken by one Jujubhai Bans Shrestha.
He rejoined and continued the tongue piercing festival from 2076 BS onwards. However, the festival did not take place in 2077 BS due to COVID-19.
To protect and continue the festival, the Municipality has managed budget, said the Municipality Mayor Madan Sundar Shrestha.
There is a belief that the festival was celebrated to catch an evil spirit that was torturing the villagers of Bode. After this catch, the local people had pierced the tongue of the demon and made him promise not to return to the village ever. From then onwards, the tongue piercing festival has been observed. RSS

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Information for Indian tourists travelling by land:- 72 hours (-) C-19 report, CCMC form and Antigen Test at entry point
Information for Indian tourists travelling by land:- 72 hours (-) C-19 report, CCMC form and Antigen Test at entry point
Information for Indian tourists travelling by land:- 72 hours (-) C-19 report, CCMC form and Antigen Test at entry point