The 3-day long Torgya Festival of Monpa community commenced at Tawang Monastery on January 30.
CM Khandu chaired the festival:
Chief minister Pema Khandu after attending the ceremony said, “This year it marks a special occasion as its ‘Dungyur Torgya’ which comes after a 3 years gap.”
Other people to attend the event:
Khandu was accompanied by Rev Gyabung Tulku Rinpoche of the Tawang Monastery, MLA Tsering Tashis and Brigadier NM Bendigeri.
Torgya, also known as Tawang-Torgya, is an annual festival that is exclusively held in Tawang Monastery.
It is celebrated to welcome a healthy and prosperous new year. The basic belief of the people is that the celebration of this festival is to eliminate any kind of external energy from the earth which can harm sentient beings and to protect them from natural calamities.
This festival is celebrated by oral and dance performances portraying the mythical events which are believed to have taken place in the past. The dances are performed by the monks from the monastery itself that requires strict training and discipline and a lot of practice before the programme.
The distinct components of these performances are the colourful costumes and robes they wear while dancing. Many dance forms take place at this festival and are believed to be beneficial if observed in person.
Two most important dance forms performed here are:
Pha Cham: The early morning dance takes place in the courtyard of Tawang monastery to purify the body of the people and spread good health and prosperity.
Losjker Chungiye: performed by 12 monks for the 12 sun signs (Buddhist horoscope dance).
Some of the other forms include Lham tsokor cham as Palden Lhamo’s guards, Palden Lhamo cham, Durdak cham or Skeleton dance (protector of the graveyard), etc.
Each of the dances showcases a myth, and the costumes and masks represent various animals such as monkeys, tigers, etc.
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