In the month of
January & February
Bum means "pot or vase" and chu means "water". This festival is celebrated at the monastery at
Tashiding in the month of January or February. During the festival, the pot containing the Holy water is opened by the lamas of the monastery. The level of water in the pot foretells the future for the forthcoming year. If the water is to the brim, it foretells a year in which peace and prosperity will prevail. If the water is over the brim and is spilling signifies a year with natural disaster and flood , it prophesies bloodshed and disturbances. If the water lever is low or almost dry it signifies famine. A part of the holy water is distributed amongst the gathering of devotes and the pot is replenished with river water and sealed at the end of the festival to be opened only in the next
Bumchu is a sacred pot containing holy water blessed by Ngadak Sempa
Chenpo, after he had performed the Mane Mantra prayers 5 billion times The holy water does not dry up nor spoil and continues to have the fresh smell even 300 year later. The sacred
Bumpa(vase) containing the water is kept under seal and opened for public darshan once a year on the 15th day of the first Tibetan month.
Tashiding is suitably christened the 'Thakkar Tashiding'. 'Thakkar' means white-spoted rocks, stones and precipices. This is also the spot of the most holy
chorten'. So sacred is this chorten that the mere act of beholding it is supposed to cleanse all sins as its name suggests -Thong-warang or a saviour by mere sight. The
Chorten is constructed around a 250 old pine believed to have grown from Guru
Padmasambhava's walking stick, which he left behind after a brief rest here. The
chorten contains funeral granules of the Buddha deposited by Jigme
Pawo (successor and incarnate of Lhatsun Chenpo). The six-syllabled mystic chant "om mani padme hung" surrounds the wall of stones around the
chortens. For the last forty years, an old artist has been diligently re pairing the carved inscriptions at
Bumpa is made neither from soil, sand nor from any metal. Its shape, size and weight cannot be replicated. It's an extraordinary' 'taer' (relic) brought from Tibet," informs the Khyenpo (senior Tashiding monk) in his talk delivered to the gathered devout on the night before the Bum-Chu. Many scholars however believe it to be made from a mixture of sacred soil, water and five precious jewels collected from holy areas of the Earth.
Bum-Chu is an annual festival held on the fifteenth day (full moon) of the first of the
Tibetan Calendar. The rituals surrounding it have remained unchanged, since 1646. A seven day prayer, from the eight to the fifteenth day, is offered each year in hopes of revealing a favorable water level.
The devout are housed under '"deras' and 'shedas' for Rs.500 per night. Others just slept on the lawn, tents and mon
astery verandas, The numbers present could be gauged from the number of vehicles lined up from Siney bazzar,
Tashiding to the Gompa foothill. Some 60- 70 elderly women from outside Tashiding underwent a three-day retreat prior to the ceremony. A mani teacher stressed, This retreat is very different and more beneficial than any others retreats. We are blessed now." Youngsters from groups to sing "Om
Mani Padme Hum" followed by 'chi-kor' (outside round of the monastery), The stall owners also saw brisk business, Tourists could be seen meditating. Rainfall on the fourteenth day is a usual phenomenon and considered an act of washing away all sins and evi1 acts.