Bisket Jatra - Nepalese New Year
Mid-April heralds the celebrations of Bisket Jatra, a full-on and often visceral event that’s a sight to behold and not necessarily for the faint-hearted.
But for the adventurous travellers among you, there’s nothing like it anywhere else on earth.
This Nepalese spectacle is celebrated four days before Baisakh, the Nepali New Year. And events – which last nine days - take on their greatest level of intensity in the city of Bhaktapur, 14 miles or so from the capital, Kathmandu.
A festival full of deep historical, cultural and spiritual significance
Expect to be thrilled by the Bisket Jatra events, each one imbued with deep historical, cultural and spiritual significance, with the god Bhairab and goddess Bhadrakal as focal points for the celebrations in Bhaktapur.
Events include chariot racing, the erecting of two huge poles in Bhaktapur and – the squeamish should look away now – ritual tongue-piercing.
The final two days of Bisket Jatra are altogether mellower affairs, with plenty of traditional music and dance to enjoy.
Bisket Jatra remains a hugely popular annual draw for travellers who find themselves in the shadow of the Himalayas.