BHAKTAPUR, April 15: Buddha Krishna Bagha Shrestha has pierced his tongue for the consecutive sixth time in front of a huge crowd of participants observing Bisket Jatra at Bode in Madhyapur Thimi Municipality on Sunday. Buddha Krishna, a local of Bode, got his tongue pierced at Bode Higher Secondary School near Layaku Chowk amid a rapturous applause today.
This tongue piercing festival is observed on Baisakh 2 every year. His brother pierced Buddha Krishna’s tongue with a one-foot-long iron spike amidst traditional music before he was brought to Layaku Chowk by a musical band. With the spike lodged in the tongue, he was taken to various places before taking the spike out of his tongue in front of Pancho Ganesh.
The tongue should not bleed. It is believed that if the tongue bleeds while piercing, it is taken as an indication that something bad would happen, said Juju Bhai who has taken part in the tongue piercing festival for eight consecutive times. Krishna Chandra, brother of Buddha Krishna, had got his tongue pierced for 12th consecutive time. According to the record, Bekhanarayan Haya Shrestha has got his tongue pierced for the 32nd time, the highest ever. The tongue piercing festival had started during the Lichchhabi dynasty.
Buddha Krishna Bagha Shrestha has come forward this year also to get his tongue pierced to give continuity to this time-honored tradition that is indigenous to Bode, Madhyapur Thimi.
The 46-year-old Buddha Krishna came forward to rescue the tradition after it appeared that the annual tongue-piercing ritual itself was on the verge of stopping for the person who had been continuing this tradition.
Buddha Krishna said he volunteered to have his tongue pierced for the sake of rescuing this unique ritual that is observed for ages in his locality.
As per the tradition, only a male person belonging to the Shrestha lineage and native of Bode is required to get his tongue pierced as part of the tongue-piercing ritual that is observed in Bode about this time every year. It is considered an expensive ritual for the person as he is required to organize the community feast himself bearing all the expenses.
Although the Madhyapur Thimi Municipality and the Guthi Sansthan under the Ministry of Culture are providing some financial support to the tongue-piercing festival, it is inadequate.