As the sun rays kisses the snow capped mountain of Tawang in Western Arunachal Pradesh after a long spell of snowfall, the local Monpa community in and around the picturesque monastery town has begun the celebration of Torgya Dungyur Chhenmo festival from Friday.
Torgya, a colourful festival of Monpa tribe, is celebrated in Buddhist monasteries for three days, from the 27th to 29th of the eleventh month of the lunar calendar. The festival is celebrated wishing for peace in the society, good health and welfare of the people.
Torgya refers to a pyramidal structure of about 10 feet high and made from flour. The structure is used by monks to kick off the festival and it is placed before the images of deities in the prayer hall.
Wearing Arpu, a warrior outfit, the Lamas recite religious texts of Torgya Chhaker. During the afternoon there is chanting to a fire made towards the southern gate of the monastery.
The Torgya is eventually consigned to the fire by the Abbot and Lamas while praying for end to the influence of evils on the life of people, prosperous life and completion of spiritual aspirations.
Elaborate use of colourful costumes, decorated masks depicting faces of animals and deities add varied hues to the celebration of the festival. Dances are performed to the beats drums and cymbals.
Every third year the annual Torgya is called as Dungyur festival when the celebrations become more vibrant and elaborate. On the last day of the festival, the Abbot bestows blessings, sprinkles holy water and distributes holy thread to each person.