Gangtok, June 18, 2019:
The Saga Dawa Festival, which is one of the most important festivals of Sikkim, is finally underway in Sikkim. The festival began on 17 July and the festivities will continue for one whole month. Saga Dawa is celebrated to mark the birth, enlightenment, and the attainment of Nirvana of Gautam Buddha.
The festivities mostly happen across Gangtok in the form of processions, prayers, and extending alms to the needy.
Since it is observed on the full moon day of the 4th month of the Buddhist Lunar Calendar, a fixed date is not available for Saga Dawa.
Saga Dawa, which is also called 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.
It may be mentioned that the festival is being observed in different countries under different names. It is widely believed that the Buddhist community has been celebrating the festival for many centuries.
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