Bumchu Festival

This sacred water festival of Bumchu (Bum for vase and Chu for water) is held in Tashiding Monastery on the 14th and 15th day of the first month of the Tibetan lunar year (which falls sometime between February and March). This ancient ritual is one of the holiest Buddhist festivals in Sikkim and thousands of devotees visit the sacred celebration. Endless train of people can be seen from midnight until the next day waiting for their turn to receive the holy water. Devotees camp around the monastery with families and friends. A good number of makeshift shops come up catering to the thronging crowd along the trail to the monastery. During the festival, the pot containing the Holy water is opened by the lamas of the monastery. The level of water in the pot foretells the future for the forthcoming year. If the water is to the brim, it foretells a year in which peace and prosperity will prevail. If the water is over the brim and is spilling, it signifies a year with natural disaster and disturbances. If the water lever is low or almost dry it signifies famine. A part of the holy water is distributed amongst the gathering of devotes and the pot is replenished with river water and sealed at the end of the festival to be opened only in the during next Bumchu festival.

Bumchu Festival
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