MONPA FESTIVALS

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» East India
» Arunachal Pradesh
Location: Tawang District, Arunachal Pradesh
Famous Festivals: Losar, Saga Dawa, Dukpa Tse-Shi, Lhabab Duechen, Ganden Ngamchoe, Torgya



Monpas have a colourful festive heritage. The festivals are associated with agricultural practices and religious occasions. Some Important festivals of the area include:

LOSAR
The New Year festival, called "Losar", is perhaps the most important festival of Tawang District. It generally falls in the last part of February or early part of March and is celebrated with lots of gaiety and festivity, which lasts for 8 to 15 days. During the fortnight long festivity, prayers are offered for prosperity and good health; the festivities include the hoisting of religious flags atop their homes; visits to the homes of friends and relatives; old Buddhist scriptures are read in every home and butter lamps are lit in houses and the campuses. more...

SAGA DAWA
The fourth month as per lunar calendar is regarded as the holiest period for the Buddhists. This month marks the birth of Lord Buddha, his attainment of supreme enlightenment and his passing into the state of nirvana. It normally falls in the month of May. During this month, many Monpas, who are otherwise very fond of meat, refrain from eating meat, egg, etc. more...

DUKPA TSE-SHI
This festival falls on the fourth day of sixth month of lunar calendar. On this day Lord Buddha gave first preaching of the "Four Novel Truths" to his first five disciples in the Deer Park at Sarnath. On this day people visit temples, light lamps and sing prayers.

LHABAB DUECHEN
The twenty-second day of the ninth month of lunar calendar is celebrated as the day of Lord Buddha's descent from the Tushita, God-realm. Lord Buddha is said to have traveled at the age of forty-one to Tushita heaven, where his mother Mahanaya had taken rebirth as one of the Gods. In order to repay his mother's kindness he spent one rainy season retreat at Tushita, giving teachings to his mother and other Gods. The day is devoted to religious activities such as visiting temples, lighting lamps and saying prayers.

GANDEN NGAMCHOE
The twenty-fifth day of the tenth month as per lunar calendar is the anniversary of the passing away of Je Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Gelukpa order of Tibetan Buddhism. As a mark of devotion and to mourn his death, people drink gruel of small flour dumplings in the evening. Lamps are lighted in the evening on the roofs and verandahs of individual houses and temples.

CHOEKOR
After the crops are sown and when there is little agricultural activity, in the seventh month of lunar calendar, a rite known as Choekor is organized in the villages by the whole village community with the aim of providing supernatural protection to the crops sown, for good harvest and to drive away evil spirits, which may cause harm to the village community. more...

TORGYA
Torgya is a monastic festival held every year for three days starting from 28th day of the eleventh month of the lunar calendar, which generally falls in the last part of January. In order to drive off evil forces and to ward off any natural calamity so that people have a happy and prosperous life. more...


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