Tongue Piercing Festival

Sept. 9, Madhyapur Thimi of Bhaktapur is known for its famous tongue-piercing festival. It is organised the day after the Indra Jatra. The festival is expensive as three feasts had to be organized before and on the festival day.

This year, 35-year-old Birendra Bhakta Shrestha is going to revive the age-old tradition after three years of hiatus. Shrestha said that the person willing to pierce his tongue needs to offer sacrifice puja to Nakarmi on the day of Janai Purmina and request him to make a needle to pierce his tongue.

The needle needs to be kept into pure mustard oil for a month. A special worship is organised a week before the festival at Balkumari Temple by offering a rooster. On the same evening, beaten rice made in the shape of the Balkumari idol should be brought to the home of the person who is prepared to pierce his tongue and offer puja twice a day.

The tongue piercing fasting begins two days before the festival day. The man, who pierces the tongue, should not talk to anybody, even drink water and should worship at the Bhariav Temple.

A Cultural expert said that earlier there was a practice of visiting Changue Nararyan temple and Pashupati Temple after piercing the tongue with Aakashdeep but it is now limited at the Nil Barahi temple of Bode.

After completing the walking part, the iron needle is taken out in front of Balkumari Temple and keep there and the hole in the tongue is filled with mud from that temple.

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