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by Rajib Singha
'Bhel Bhel' is an annual festival dedicated to the Goddess Muthumariamman. It takes place in the town of Bandel in West Bengal, India and is celebrated a few weeks after Holi. Being a railway junction town, Bandel is home to a large population of people of Southern Indian origin and people from the adjacent state of Bihar who mainly take part in the month long fast and celibacy rituals. On the final worship day, devotees get their skin pierced with skewers and dance their way to the temple of Goddess Muthumariamman.