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Preliminary   > Art and Culture   >   Miscellaneous   >   Festivals and celebrations

Why in news?

  • One of Sikkim's most major festivals, the Bumchu festival is a significant occasion for the state's Buddhist population

About Bumchu festival:

  • Annual performances of this ancient ceremony are held at the Tashiding Monastery, located in Sikkim.
    • The Tashiding Monastery is one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites, located on a hilltop overlooking the Rangeet River in Sikkim.
  • The celebration takes place on the 14th and 15th of the first lunar month, which often falls in February or March.
  • At the event, pilgrims travel to Tashiding from all around India as well as from close by nations like Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

Historical Background:

  • Legend has it that during his journey to Sikkim in the eighth century, Guru Padmasambhava, better known as Guru Rinpoche, the great Buddhist guru who brought Buddhism to Tibet, blessed the location of the monastery.
  • A Nyingma teacher named Ngadak Sempa Chempo Phunshok Rigzing later founded the monastery in the 17th century.
  • The Bumchu festival commemorates a supernatural occurrence that took place in the 18th century under Chogyal Chakdor Namgyal.


  • A legend says that Chogyal Chakdor Namgyal was told by a deity to visit a nearby spring and gather water in a vase. The Lama followed the instructions and found that no matter how much water was used, the water level in the vase never dropped.
  • The Lama understood that the vase was scary and that its water had healing properties.
  • The vase was delivered to the Tashiding Monastery, where it was revered as a holy object and served as the centrepiece of the Bumchu festival.
  • Bumchu means “pot of sacred water” in Tibetan.
  • The vase is opened during the event, and the water inside is shared among the worshippers.


Bumchu festival, sometimes mentioned in news, is associated with:

(a) Tashiding Monastery in Sikkim

(b) Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh

(c) Tabo Monastery in Himachal Pradesh

(d) Thiksey Monastery in Ladakh