5. Chokhor Duchen

Chokhor Duchen is one of the four great holy days of the Tibetan calendar. This day is celebrated to commemorate first dharma teaching by  Buddha Shakymuni in Sarnath to his first disciples. The first dharma teaching anniversary by Buddha Shakymuni falls in the month of July , the  4th day of 6th month of Tibetan calendar.

 

For the seven days after his enlightenment Buddha Shayamuni did not give teaching. After this period, Indra and Brahma offered a dharmachakra and a conch shell and requested Shakyamuni to teach. Accepting, Buddha Shakyamuni turned the Wheel of Dharma for the first time at Sarnath by teaching on the Four Noble Truths.

 

In Rolwaling Chokhor Duchen is celebrated every year in Sangag Choling Monastery at Na village. In the morning of the  4th day of the 6th month of Tibetan calendar,  a ritual is performed where the holy texts are brought out of the monastery and carried around the village in a procession led by Rinpoche. This is to represent the auspiciousness of the turning of the dharma wheel and also as the blessings. In the following three days, 5th to 7th day, recitation of the Prajnaparamita Sutra ( ‘Bhum’ in Tibetan) is carried out by the monks led by Rinpoche  inside the monastery. And on the 8th, 9th and 10th day Kunjog Chiteu Puja(Yar Lha Ama), locally known as Yar Chang, is conducted in the monastery. In the evening of the final day of the festival the villagers celebrate by singing and dancing as per tradition.