The Bumchu sacred water festival is
celebrated on the 14th and 15th day of the first month of
the Tibetan Lunar year, which usually includes the months between January and March
at the holy Tashiding Monastery. This festival attracts many tourists from Bhutan,
Nepal, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and other surrounding regions. The holy occasion sees
devotees camping around the monastery with their friends and families and small
shop owners setting up their business to cater to the various needs of the people
coming on thier holidays in Sikkim.
History of Bumchu
The name of the festival Bumchu derives its
origin from two words namely ‘bum’ meaning a pot or vase and ‘chu’ signifying
water. The vase or pot used during the festival is said to be made of sacred
soil, water and five precious jewels collected from holy regions of the world.
The sacred ‘Bumpa’ or pot is said to be
kept safely under lock and key inside a tiny mansion called Chosham, and it is
said to have inherited its magical properties when the Guru Padma Jullgne
completed chanting the verse ‘Om Mani Padme Hung’ for five million times.The
holy chanting is said to have produced water in the Bumpa, wherein several
deities are believed to have entered during the initiation by the Guru. Book Gangtok tour packages from an exclusive holiday in Sikkim.
Every year, after the chanting is completed,
the high officials and the Lama check the seal of the vase before it is taken
out of the Choksham. The vase is then opened on the night of the 4th
day of the first month of the Tibetan Almanac calendar.Once the vase has been opened, three ‘tings’
or cups of water are taken out and distributed to the Lamas and other devotees
present on the full moon day. Fresh water is sometimes taken from the blessed
river of Rathong Chu.
Bumchu Festival and its Importance in
The level of water in the vase is said to
indicate the future of the state of Sikkim for the next year. Depending on
whether the water increases or decreases, several assumptions are made ‑ be it
positive or negative. If the vase is brimming with water, it is believed that
anarchy and unrest may happen in the state for the next one year. On the other
hand, if the vase has very little water left, it predicts that the people of
the state may suffer from disease and trauma. Numerous Gangtok tours from Kolkata are available for the interested tourists.
Therefore, it is believed that people of
the state pray for a half-filled pot of water, which indicates prosperity and
economic development for the state of Sikkim. The Bumchu festival, therefore, is a very
significant and one of the holiest festivals for Buddhists present in the
entire region. It offers a valuable opportunity to seek blessings from Lord
Buddha and learn from his philosophies. Sikkim is a popular place which is included in most of North East India tours.