Jibro Chedne Festival in Madhyapur Encircled Pashupatinath a Century Later
Madhyapur Thimi, a municipality in Bhaktapur, Nepal, recently celebrated the traditional Jibro Chedne festival during the auspicious occasion of Indra Jatra. This unique event, held on the night of Bhadra Shukla Purnima (full moon night), witnessed an age-old tradition where a young man from the Chode Tolka Balakram Shrestha community dared to challenge himself by piercing his tongue with a bamboo rod.
Shrestha carried 17 bamboo torches, each weighing about 40 kilograms, on his shoulders. Then, he went on a pilgrimage to two important temples, Pashupatinath and Guhyeshwari. The most astonishing part was that he did all this with the bamboo rods still through his tongue!
Madhyapur Thimi Deputy Mayor States that “After piercing his tongue, a century later, he has accomplished the circumambulation of the Pashupatinath temple.”
Shrestha’s journey went through several places, and he was accompanied by many people. They walked through Digutol, Siddhikali, Sano Thimi, and Pepsi Cola before reaching Guhyeshwari and then back to Balakaram Thimi. The procession arrived at the Pashupatinath temple around 10:30 PM.
Sudhan Kiranti, the Minister for Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation, welcomed Chandrakar and the procession, along with the Pashupati Development Trust. The Mayor of Madhyapur Thimi, Suren Shrestha, Deputy Mayor Vijay Krishna Shrestha, Ward Chairpersons, and hundreds of local residents were also present.
The tradition of displaying ‘Yaanmata’ (Battis in trident shape made of bamboo with clothes draped) to ward off evil spirits in front and behind the person who underwent the Jibro piercing ceremony at night is part of the Manandhar community. This year, Siva Sayami Khal and Manandhar Youth Group had two ‘Yaanmatas’ participating in front and behind the Balakaram who underwent the Jibro Chedne Festival.
Balakram Shrestha’s dedication to preserving this cultural tradition, as shown by his brave feat, is truly admirable during Jibro Chedne Festival.