By Katy Gill
A Nepalise buddha has pierced his tongue for the sixth time with a long iron spike, which has been soaked in oil for a month, in the hope to bring good fortune during a squeamish ancient festival.
Buddha Krishna Baga Shrestha, 46, from the city of Bode, Bhaktapur, Nepal, believes that if your tongue bleeds during the piercing it is believed to be a bad omen.
Local photographer, Puskar Nepal, visited the over-crowded festival on April 15, which fell on the second day of the Nepalese new year.
Surrounded by a further 20,000 attendees, the photographer had to arrive at the festival hours in advance to secure a spot in order to view the unorthodox tongue piercing.
Puskar said: “The tradition only allows local men from the village to get their tongues pierced.
“The long iron spike has been soaked in oil for one whole month.
“The devotee needs to parade bare-footed across the town carrying a wood and bamboo arched lamp on his shoulders.
“If you choose to do this, you are not allowed to drink, eat, spit or swallow anything whilst his tongue is out.
“Whomever decides to partake has to organise a community feast at his own expense.
“The municipality supports only part of the cost.
The festival that is also believed to save locals from disasters is considered an ancient ritual, but only has a record of volunteers from over the past 100-years.”