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Saga Dawa also known as the Triple Blessed Festival is one of the most important and holiest Buddhist festivals in Sikkim. It falls on the full moon of the 4th month of the Tibetan calendar which is usually within the end of April and the start of June. Saga Dawa which is Bhutia for Buddha Jayanti celebrates 3 main events of Lord Buddha’s life: his birth, his Enlightenment, and his Nirvana which fall on the same day.

The most significant and spiritual highlight of the Saga Dawa is the colorful and spiritual religious procession in Gangtok where monks carry the Holy Scriptures that contains the teachings of Lord Buddha. The procession is a wonderful sight and soul stirring as the monks chant the spiritual “Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ” mantra and turn the prayer wheel all along during the entire procession.

People dressed in their traditional attire gather up on the streets to give offerings and touch their heads to the Holy Scriptures and receive blessings. Dhajas are erected during this festival by family members to bring peace to their lost ones.  Saga Dawa is a festival of great zeal and spirituality and a must attend if you are in Sikkim around that time.

 

Photo credit:  Karma Lendup Bhutia