Festival

Arunachal: Torgya Festival begins at Tawang Monastery

In the three-day festival, costumed dances are very popular and held in the courtyard of the monastery.

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  • Every third year, the festival is organized on a broader level and goes by the name Dungyur Festival. During the Dungyur Festival, Dalai Lama especially offers blessings to other lamas by sending Feb Jum which is a holy item to be used in rituals.

TAWANG-  The three days long Torgya Festival celebrated by Monp tribe of Arunachal Pradesh in January every year has begun on Sunday in Tawang Monastery. It is believed that celebrating the festival chases out evil spirits which usher in diseases and misfortunes. Monastic masked dances are performed in Cham-lang, courtyard of the Tawang Monastery.

In the three-day festival, costumed dances are very popular and held in the courtyard of the monastery with the objective of removing evil spirits and usher all round prosperity and happiness to the people in the ensuing year. This is a festival comprising oral and dance performances portraying the mythical events which are believed to have taken place in the past.

Arunachal: Torgya Festival begins at Tawang Monastery

The popular dances performed with artists donning colorful costumes and masks are: the Pha Chan and the Losjker Chungiye, the latter is performed by the monks of the monastery. Each dance represents a myth and costumes and masks represent animal forms such as cows, tigers, sheep, monkeys and so forth.

The first day’s festival is called Torgya and involves worship of the image created specially for the occasion. The creation of the images starts 16 days prior to the festival. The image is created to a height of 3 feet (0.91 m) with a width of 2 feet (0.61 m), and is exclusively crafted by 14 lamas of the monastery. Right from day one of making the image till it is completed, scriptures are recited by the monks of the monastery to the accompaniment of beating of drums by another group of lamas. The ingredients used for making the image are ghee, barley, milk and molasses, and it is done in honour of Lama Tsongkapa.

Arunachal: Torgya Festival begins at Tawang Monastery

At the same time, the image “Torma” is brought out in a procession to the location of the mound. It is carried by Lamas of the monastery, known as Arpo, wearing bells around the waist, bring out the Torma along with two other masked lamas wearing male and female yak masks. These two lamas are called Choige Yap-Yum and are considered as servants of Lama Tsongkapa. By carrying Torma, the lamas head towards burning the Mechang.

Arunachal: Torgya Festival begins at Tawang Monastery

After reaching the location, the head of lamas performs Sangonna wherein they carry the Torma and put it in the burning Mechang. Post performing the ritual, they go back to the monastery. This procession is performed with great pomp and show.

The last day is performed as Wangwhich starts with making Tseril which is a type of sweet made by barley, sugar, and molasses. After that, the head of lamas perform prayers and then distribute the Tseril among other lamas.

Arunachal: Torgya Festival begins at Tawang Monastery

They also drink a local beer named Tse-Chang to wrap the festival on a fun note. Also, the Head Lama gives blessings (also known as Tse-Boom) to other lamas by touching their heads.

Every third year, the festival is organized on a broader level and goes by the name Dungyur Festival. During the Dungyur Festival, Dalai Lama especially offers blessings to other lamas by sending Feb Jum which is a holy item to be used in rituals.

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