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Bisket Jatra,” also known as “Sindur Jatra,” is one of the most vibrant and culturally significant festivals celebrated in Bhaktapur, Nepal. This festival, which usually falls in the Nepali month of Chaitra (March/April), marks the beginning of the Nepali New Year and is a time of great joy and festivity for the people of Bhaktapur.

How the Name is Origins Bisket Jatra

The name “Bisket Jatra” holds interesting origins. “Biska” is believed to be derived from the Sanskrit word “Bis ket” meaning “serpent” or “poison,” hinting at the fascinating legends behind this festival. “Jatra” is the Nepalese word for festival, making Bisket Jatra the “festival of the serpents.” The Bisket Jatra is said to commemorate this victory over evil.

Main Attraction of Bisket Jatra

Chariot Procession and The Erection and Felling of the Lingo

The heart of Bisket Jatra pulsates with two iconic events: the Chariot Procession and the Erection and Felling of the Lingo. Massive chariots, adorned with images of Bhairab and Bhadrakali, are pulled through narrow streets by throngs of devotees, their energy surging with the rhythm of traditional music. The crowd’s anticipation peaks as the towering lingo pole, symbolizing the slain serpents of legend, is triumphantly raised, marking the start of the New Year. Just as dramatically, the previous year’s lingo is felled, signifying the triumph of renewal and good over evil in a powerful act of symbolism.

Tongue-Piercing Ritual at Bode

During Bisket Jatra, a special ceremony happens in the small town of Bode. A man, chosen to take part, shows his devotion by getting his tongue pierced. He prepares for this by following cleansing rituals and using mustard oil to numb his tongue a little. Then, a long, sharp metal rod is pushed through his tongue. Even though it hurts, he walks through the town in a parade, carrying burning torches on his shoulders! People watching this feel both respect and a bit worried. It’s a tough but amazing way to show faith, and it’s a tradition that’s been around for a long time.

Bisket Jatra Piercing Tongue

Sindur Jatra

The town of Thimi explodes with color during Sindur Jatra. A long line of 32 special decorated temple, called khats, carried on people’s shoulders, starts the party. These khats hold statues of gods and goddesses. People sing and dance as the khats travel through town, making everyone excited. Then comes the messy fun part! Everyone throws bright red powder called sindoor at each other. The air gets filled with orange clouds as people’s clothes, faces, and even the sky turn red! It’s a loud, happy celebration with lots of laughter and music. Throwing the powder is a way to wash away bad luck, bring good fortune, and show respect to the gods.

Tourist Attraction during Bisket Jatra

Bisket Jatra is like a magical show that brings people from all over the world to see it! It’s a special way to learn about the amazing culture of Nepal. The festival has old rituals, bright colors, and lots of meaning that make your trip unforgettable. Tourists love seeing giant chariots pulled through the streets, watching a huge pole go up and down as a powerful symbol, and feeling the happy energy when people throw colored powder. It’s not just about the big events—you can also see how the Newari people keep their traditions alive, watch special dances and music, and try tasty local snacks from the street sellers. With its unique rituals and dazzling displays, Bisket Jatra offers tourist a glimpse into Nepal’s rich cultural tapestry.

Tips for Experiencing Bisket Jatra

To get the most out of Bisket Jatra, it’s important to plan ahead! The festival happens according to the Nepali lunar calendar which usually falls in April, so be sure to check the exact dates early. Remember to dress appropriately for the occasion and be respectful of local customs – ask before snapping photos of individuals and be aware of the festival’s religious importance. Finally, Bisket Jatra is a popular event, so expect big crowds. Be prepared, choose good viewing spots, and arrive early to secure your place in the excitement.

Newari Culture And Its Signification

Bisket Jatra isn’t just a series of captivating events – it’s a portal into the very soul of Newari culture. The festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil, a theme that resonates deeply with the Newari community. It honors the powerful deities Bhairab and Bhadrakali, who hold special significance within Newari tradition. Bisket Jatra fosters a vibrant sense of community, bringing together people of all backgrounds in joyous celebration. Beyond its religious symbolism, the festival serves as a vibrant showcase of Newari heritage. Traditional music, dances, artistic displays, and local foods immerse visitors in the rich customs and enduring spirit of this unique ethnic group.