Our students on a field trip to Sikkim had a rare opportunity to witness the celebrations of the Saga Dawa festival. We were staying at a farm in West Sikkim and were told of this festival by our hosts. Saga Dawa or the Triple Blessed Festival is an auspicious month for the Sikkimese Buddhists with prayers held throughout the month in various monasteries. On the full moon of this 4th month of the Tibetan calendar [celebrated as Buddha Purnima in the rest of India] is the main celebration.
It is believed that on this day the Buddha was born, attained Enlightenment and achieved nirvana. A colourful procession of monks playing musical instruments and devotees carrying holy texts, portraits and statues of Lord Buddha is taken out in Gangtok as well as in other towns and villages of Sikkim. People gather in the streets to touch their heads with the holy scriptures in order to receive blessings
The Saga Dawa festival of that village passed through our farm house and we all decided to follow the monks in their journey to the nearby Monastery. It was truly a blessed experience.
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