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Bumchu Festival, Sikkim

by Madhav Srinivasan 1752 days ago

Hailed as one of the most important and historical festivals from the Buddhist clan, Bumchu is celebrated in the state of Sikkim. This festival is a very important and intricate celebration for the Buddhists present in the state.

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 Sikkim

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

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