Saga Dawa (Lord Buddha’s Parinirvana)
Saga Dawa is the fourth month of Lunar Calendar and it is the holiest month for all Tibetan Buddhists or Himalayan Buddhists. The entire month of Saga Dawa is considered very sacred, and is believed that any merit obtained for the performance of a good deed or religious practices (e.g. reciting of mantras) is multiplied by many folds. Many forgo eating meats, perform prostrations around Buddhist monuments and some fast or remain silent for a week. Daily prayers and ceremonies at held at different monasteries and holy sites around himalayas. The main date falls of the 15th day or the full-moon day of the fourth month of lunar, usually around the end of May or June. On this day, in different years, Lord Buddha took birth, achieved Enlightenment and passed away attaining Nirvana. It is the celebration of these three important events that comprise the festival of Saga Dawa. In Gangtok, the highlight is the procession of monks, carrying Holy book from Tsuk-La-Khang Monastery in the Palace area and going around the town. The procession blow horns, beat drums, burn incenses, and the local come out to get blessings. Similar celebrations are held in other monasteries through-out Sikkim and Darjeeling.