A GRAND FESTIVAL OF BHAKTAPUR
The arrival of the Biska: festival(BISKET JATRA) symbolizes Bhaktapur‘s cultural ecstasy. It is a festival of human emotions that is prominently observed at the start of spring. Symbolic representations of human emotions can be found in the festival. The focal point of the festival is the folklore, which tells of a handsome youth endowed with Tantric empowerment slaughtering a pair of snakes. Two serpents are believed to have emerged from the nostrils of a beautiful princess when she was sneezing in the middle of the night. They grew to enormous proportions in the blink of an eye and snatched the lives of those who had slept with the princess. When the serpents were about to sting one of the young people in the hot room, the meticulous individual used his Tantric strength to make the serpents breathe their last.
The next morning, after discovering the individual alive and the serpents dead, Vishwo Malla, the then king, instituted the tradition of hoisting two long flags on a large long wooden pole. The banners were crafted in the form of the deceased serpents, which was symbolic. Yoshin -the pole of love-“Yosing Dyo” a approximately 25 meter high ceremonial pole was the name given to the large long pole used for hoisting flags, and it is still popular among the locals today. The annual hoisting of the serpent-shaped flags is celebrated with great zeal. After VISHWO MALLA, the banners are known as VISHWO DHOJA.
The mythical belief considers the firmament and the earth as the divine male and female object in the form of Bhairabnath and Bhadrakali respectively. It says that the mating between the sky and the earth has made the creation possible on our planet. The rain that showers from the sky to the earth are considered the life giving element and the earth is the creative base. And the hole in which the Yoshin-Pole is erected is the symbol of the female reproductive organ.
As a result, the Biska Jatra is also a mating festival for the Bhairabnath and Bhadrakali. Four days prior to the erection of the Yoshin-Pole, the metallic symbol of Bhairabnath and the Bhadrakali is taken out of the temples. They are seated on the Bhaila Kha (Chariot) and the Nakinju Kha (Chariot), respectively. The Bhaila kha and Nakinju kha are drawn voluntarily by the celebrants. In local dialect, the Bhairabnath and Bhadrakali are referred to as Bhaila Deo and Nakinju Ajima, respectively. The festival’s overall philosophy is focused on conjugality, creation, and life continuity. The Bhairabnath and Bhadrakali chariots are drawn toward Youshin-Khyo (Yoshin Khel -south-east of Nyatapola Temple) in the evening on the last day of the year, where the Youshin-Pole is erected by late evening. A large crowd enthusiastically attends and exclaims joy. The enthusiastic youths climb to the top of the pole, hanging from the large dangling ropes, with the aim of picking up green shrubs placed at the top. The reward for the efforts is provided with the expectation that whoever picks up the green shrub from the top of Yoshin-Pole will be the lucky one to give birth to a male child. For 24 hours, the pole stays perpendicular to the sky and the ground. The evening is then accompanied by a large feast throughout Bhaktapur. For all of Bhaktapur‘s people, the start of the New Year is a joyful occasion. The majority of them gather in the early morning at Yoshin Khel (south-east of Nyatapola Temple).Paying homage and performing sacrificial Puja (worship) to the Bhairabnath and Bhadrakali is the scene from early morning to late afternoon. The joyful presence and festive gala reflect a voluptuous time in life as the new Bikram age begins.
By the evening, the Yoshin Pole has been dragged to the ground. On the eve, a massive crowd gathers to share their joy with seasonal melodies that enchant every now and then. The event is highlighted by seasonal tunes performed on flutes, drums, cymbals, and other musical instruments. People focus their efforts in order to pull the Bhairabnath and Bhadrakali chariots. They’re being dragged into the GAHITI TOLE (section). The Bhairabnath and Bhadrakali chariots clash at midnight, symbolizing copulation. The Bhairabnath chariot, on the other hand, does not jump an inch this time. The Bhadrakali is the one who keeps dashing over the Bhairabnath in the middle of the night.