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. A propitiation (Torgya) rite of Yamactaka Chak Khar
Zur Gurpa is conducted and with this connotation the festival is called "Torgya".
Thousands of people throng the monastery during these three days in their
colorful, best dresses, making the festival a carnival of colours.
A Major Event - Chham
The core event of the festival is Chham, a highly choreographed sacred dance lasting for three days. A select group of monks dressed in magnificent robes and wearing masks representing various divinities and earthly characters perform Chham in the courtyard of Tawang monastery to the accompaniment of beating drum and cymbals, blowing of huge telescopic horns and clarinets.
In the afternoon of the first day, the abbot and other monks consign the sacrificial cake to the fire outside the compound of the monastery. On the final day of the festival, a vase initiation is bestowed by the abbot of the monastery to the people and after making offering and ablution rituals in the presence of Maitreya Buddha; the image is taken for a procession on the circumambulation path, while at the same time the giant sized brocade Thangka is displayed for public view.
Every third year this festival is celebrated on a grander scale and is called "Dung-gyur". During Dung-gyur the monks conduct "Mani Dum Drub" ritual.