Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sikkim marks celebration of ‘Sakewa’

Gangtok: The tiny hamlet of Pobyuk Naitam under Syari constituency in East district today joined Sikkim in the celebration of ‘Sakewa’, the main festival of Kirat ethnic community held once a year to pray to Mother Nature. The festival falls on the 15th day of the fifth month in the Nepali calendar and marks the season for sowing seeds in the fields.

Departing from a new age practice of inviting VIPs, the local community started off the festival occasion with the traditional ritual of ‘Ubhauli Puja’ performed at the house of Kirat faith healer, Dik Man Rai. The puja is conducted to offer the community’s prayers to Kirateshwar (head of Kirats), Mother Goddess and seek blessing from Mother Nature for a good harvest.

The celebrations then widened to the nearby field for more elaborate rituals and to facilitate collective participation of the young and old, as the villagers of Pobyuk Naitam had been doing for the past four years.
Villagers along with their kids gathered early at the field with the same enthusiasm they have been showing to celebrate their festival. Their gathering with participation of other various communities highlighted a message of unity and a tribute to their ancestors who used to assemble centuries ago to offer their prayers before the three sacred stones.
Senior villagers enlightened the gathering about the importance of ‘Sakewa’. A note of thanks was also offered to the land donors for donating a piece of land as the regular spot for ‘Saweka’ celebration. Devna Rai said that the land had been donated in the memory of her late father Kabir Man Rai.

A Sili dance was presented on the occasion edifying the harmonious coexistence between man and nature. Of course, traditional food item ‘Wachipa’ and brew ‘Chaang’ were generously handed out to the participants completing a day of celebrating their day, remembering their roots and spreading the joy to other communities

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