Thursday, August 16, 2018
Arunachal Pradesh

Fairs and Festivals


Sangken

Festival of Khamtis, Singpho tribes & Tikhak Tangsa Buddhist communities

The Khamtis and Singpho tribes and Tikhak Tangsa Buddhist communities celebrate 'Sangken' a Buddhist festival of Theravada Buddhist community annually for three days in the month of April.

The auspicious occasion, which marks the beginning of the New Year is considered a time to earn merit. The festival begins with a solemn pledge and prayer for well-being of all sentient accompanied by beating of drums and gongs. During the festival, people take the precept of abstaining from killing, lying, stealing, taking intoxicating drinks and indulgence in illicit sexual activities. People also refrain from doing all forms of manual work, gambling and cutting trees.

Attired in colourful dresses, people throng the premises of Theravada Buddhist Temples to take part in the ceremonial bathing of images of Lord Buddha. After ceremonial bathing of the images of Buddha and holy shrines, people splash clean water on each other and exchange greetings for a happy and prosperous new year. Clean water is considered to be symbolic of purity. Earlier, the images of Lord Buddha from the main temple were ceremonially installed in a makeshift temple to facilitate devotees to give a ceremonial bath.

In the evening, people visit the monastery to offer prayer and illuminate candle, seeking blessings for peace, harmony and well being of all. The three day festival ends with the reinstallation of images of Lord Buddha back to the main temple followed by a community feast.

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