Monday, August 27, 2007

Sikkim Pang Lhabsol celebrations

GANGTOK, Aug 27: Sikkim will celebrate the 28th Pang Lhabsol Festival in Gangtok on Tuesday. This festival celebrates the signing of a treaty of brotherhood by the Lepchas and the Bhutias in the 13th century. On this occasion, the general populace of Sikkim also pays homage to their guardian deity, Mount. Kanchanjunga. This is the biggest festival that is celebrated in the state. This year there will be grand celebrations in the eastern capital city of Gangtok and in the southern town of Ravangla .“We celebrate this festival in memory of the treaty signed between Lepchas and Bhutia for blood brotherhood” said Mr Thukchuk Lachungpa, President of Pang Lhabsol Committee. “It is important to celebrate this in the 21 st century as it emphasises on the spirit of unity,” He added. “We will be having an open cultural programme, an essay writing competition and other traditional events,” said Mr Lachungpa. “The chief minister will be our chief guest and the governor the special guest at the occasion”, he added. “Every year, we bring an artist from Nepal and Darjeeling to perform at the musical night but this time we failed to do so.”In Ravangla, celebrations are held in the traditional manner. Prayers are offered to Mount. Kanchanjunga and monks showcase their traditional mask dance called “Pangtoed Chaam”.“Apart from the traditional celebrations, we also organise national level volley ball matches, other rural sports, fairs exhibitions and cultural shows,” said Mr Pema Leyda, a member of organising committee. “The reason behind organizing such an event is to preserve our culture and tradition”, he added. “The colorful festival also attracts many foreign tourist inlarge numbers to Ravangla. This gives a boost to local entrepreneurs and helps improves their business,” said Mr Leyda. “On this special occasion, even monks and locals from all the monasteries of Sikkim gather here to witness the mask dance ,” he added.