North of Thimi in Bhaktapur, an important temple of a Tantric deity Mahalakshmi brings about a strange tongue-boring ritual that falls during Nepali New Year. The temple's priest drives a thin metal needle through the tongue of the male volunteer who prepares for the day through several days of purification and fasting.
The man then parades the Bode village bearing a bamboo rack of oil lit lamps and has the needle removed on returning to the temple. The wound is then crammed with mud scraped from the temple's floor and the man is said to earn great religious merit in absence of bleeding.
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