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Date: 2013-04-15

KATHMANDU, April 15: Juju Bhai Basha pierced his tongue for the fifth consecutive year amid a function on the sixth day of this year´s Bisket Jatra in Bode of Bhaktapur on Monday.

Thirty-two years old Juju Bhai, who was fasting from Friday, seemed unusually calm as his tongue was being pierced by a blacksmith with 10 inch skewer on the premises of Pancho Ganesh temple in Bode, the historical place where the festival is observed every year. 

To begin the tongue piercing ceremony, the blacksmith prayed to all gods and deities and pushed the skewer that was purified by dipping in mustard oil a few days ago, through his tongue. Juju Bhai worshipped all the local shrines after the ceremony. 

Later, the spike was removed from his tongue. The needle is placed at the nearby Ganesh temple every year after the ceremony. The locals fear of unpleasant happenings if the skewer is lost. The needle had been lost in 2011 and a new one was bought.

One who pierces the tongue is also responsible to organize a feast in the village at the end of the day to celebrate the success. 

Juju Bhai, a graduate of Lalit Kala Campus in Lalitpur, teaches at a school in Bhaktapur. He has been piercing his tongue for the festival since 2009. 

Meanwhile, the locals of Bhaktapur, especially from Madhyapur Thimi and Bode, celebrated Sindure Jatra, where youths parade images of gods and spread vermillion powder to each other.

The nine-day festival began on April 10, with the pulling of the two chariots. The festival will conclude on Thursday.

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