Drukpa Tsheshi counts amongst few of the most significant festivals for all Buddhists around the world; Sikkim pre-dominantly being the Buddhist land, too witnesses the celebrations for this religious festival at a grand level. While uncountable devotees and pilgrims travel from far and wide to attend the celebrations, for travellers and holiday makers too, it is one such splendid event that provides for a great opportunity to immerse themselves in the vibrant and effervescent culture of this beautiful North Eastern state of India.
Drukpa Tsheshi is basically observed to celebrate the auspicious day when Lord Buddha for the very first time turned the “Wheel of Dharma” and gave the sermon of the “Four Noble Truths” of life and sufferings to his five disciples in the Deer Park at Sarnath near the holy city of Varanasi in India. Commemorating this sacred event that reminds every human being about nobility, mankind and a correct way to lead life, the festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm every year and in numerous parts of the world, with dates being somewhat different for different regions.
In Sikkim, the festival is held on the 4th day of the Drukpa (6th) month according to the Tibetan Lunar Calendar, which as per the English Calendar falls somewhere between July and August. The Deer Park in Gangtok and Muguthang in extreme North of Sikkim serve as two major hosts for this festival that is marked by prayers and chantings all day long. Devotees and travellers from across the neighbouring towns and countries gather at the celebration grounds to be part of these festive prayers that bring peace, harmony and prosperity in their lives.
Being an important Buddhist religious festival, the celebrations are majorly confined to observing an array of sacred ceremonies and rituals at various monasteries and temples throughout the state. Ones with the spiritualistic mind-set can attend these ceremonies and gift themselves a fascinating insight into noble Buddhist teachings and principles. For those looking forward to some cultural feast apart from religious rituals and customs, must attend the festivities at Muguthang, where the ceremonial rites followed by the traditional Yak Races and a palatable spread of Sikkimese cuisine provide for an amazing time, adding some wonderful memories to an amazing Sikkim holiday trip.