Tuesday, 18 January, 2022

Bode gears up for tongue piercing festival


By Binu Shrestha
Kathmandu, Mar. 21:

With the famous tongue-piercing festival of Bhaktapur’s Bode approaching, Buddha Krishna Baga Shrestha is preparing to take part in the daring adventure for the 8th time.
The festival was canceled last year due to a growing fear of coronavirus transmission. He had pierced his tongue for the first time 11 years ago. Later, he stopped giving continuity to that work.
However, Shrestha again took part in the ceremony in 2017 after Juju Bhai Basan stopped giving continuity to the age-old tradition. He is poised to pierce his tongue with a 10-inch metal skewer on the second day of Nepali New Year.
During the festive day, Shrestha walks across the Bode city for more than three hours carrying the Mahadeep, made of 13 sticks of Nigalo (a type of bamboo), after piercing his tongue.
If blood drops off his tongue as he inserts the metal skewer into his tongue, it is considered a bad omen. He is conscious not to let blood drop lest it upsets the villagers, he said.
The iron needle is taken out at Mahalaxmi Temple and the hole in the tongue is filled with mud from that temple. The needle is kept at Ganesh Temple’s door, located at the right side of the Nrityanath Temple.
Shrestha said he would start fasting three days before the ceremony kicks off. A big crowed of people gather to observe the ceremony.
It is believed that King Jagajyoti Malla started the festival, which has been popular since then.