Bisket Jatra festival is one of the popular Newari festival, is celebrated once in an every year in an ancient city of Bhaktapur, Nepal. It is also celebrated beyond its boundaries with their own ritual. This festival is celebrated during the start of Bikram Sambat, New Year. This Bisket Jatra festival is marked as the end of the Nepali month of Chaitra and the beginning of New Nepali year in Baisakh. The term Bisket Jatra is derived from Newari word Bi and Syaku which meanings snake laughter. According to legend, this is the celebration after the death of the serpent (crawling snake). This famous festival lasts for 8 nights and 9 days.
This Jatra will start by pulling a giant chariot carrying the statue of the god Bhairav by hundreds of local villagers. There will be a huge tug of war between eastern and western part of town to pull the chariot to their side. At the time there will a great crowd and people also greet by playing Newari Dhime music. The chariot rest at certain times-honored places in the city and people come out offering rice, coin, flower and Sindur (red power) to the statue. Later, the chariot is headed toward khalna tole (Bhaktapur).
Tongue Pierced is the major attraction of Bisket Jatra Festival in Nepal
On this occasion, there is a belief of tongue piercing. A volunteer of Newar family gets his tongue pierced with an iron pin. And walk around the town with a round bamboo rack on his shoulder and glowing lamp on his hand.
On the last day of the old year, the wooden pole of almost 25m is erected at the edge of the town. And on a very next day, a group of men pull it to the ground. It would be a moment of danger and excitement. It is believed that after the succession of this great celebration brings good fortune to the villagers and volunteer himself.