The Human Charak | The Daily Star
05:58 PM, April 18, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

The Human Charak

The Human Charak

For more than 400 years, one of the most fascinating festivals of our country – the Charak Puja has been observed at a field adjacent to Burir Mandir in Dhamrai. But, breaking a century-old tradition, this year, the venue had to be shifted. Local politicians had put up borders around the old grounds according to locals. So the Puja had to move to a new ground.

The Charak Puja is a Hindu festival marking Chaitra Sankranti – the end of the last month of the Bangla year. The festival, which starts with traditional prayers and rituals at a temple, ends with one of most amazing displays of the human ability to endure pain.

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As drums beat to a frantic rhythm and the crowd goes quiet. The rituals end, and the priest mark the back of Netai Sarker. The red marks where the hook will pierce his skin.

On a platform set up in the field, Netai is hung by the hooks in his back with ropes to a wooden beam. Hanging by his skin, he spins round and round, his senses in a trance. The participants too run in crazy spirit as the beating of the drums increase in tempo. The Human Charak completes the rites as another year passes and makes way for a new one.
 
Watch The Daily Star's video story on the Charak Puja and witness the details for yourself at The Daily Star Online YouTube Channel.
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