Saka Dawa Festival- The Holiest Festival For Buddhists -

Saka Dawa Festival- The Holiest Festival For Buddhists

Saka Dawa Festival is the holiest Buddhist festival in Leh- Ladakh. On this day, Sakyamuni was born. Later, he went into Buddha hood and attained Nirvana.  As per the belief of Buddha followers, one merit during this festival is equal to many merits amassed other days. Saka Dawa is significant of ‘Disu month’ according to Tibetan calendar. There are 28 constellations in Tibetan calendar and Disu is one of those. Disu constellation appears in fourth month and hence, Disu is the fourth month of Tibetan calendar. Flag pole changing is the major activity performed during celebrations of this festival. The lamas of different monasteries perform this ritual.

Significance of Saka Dawa Festival

This festival commemorates three major events of Buddha’s life which includes birth, nirvana and death.

Important Rituals

During this festival, people follow certain different precepts such as:

  • Do not kill
  • Do not lie
  • Do not steal
  • Do not engage in any sexual activity
  • Do not take intoxicants
  • Do not eat food at wrong times
  • Do not use on large, high or expensive beds
  • Do not be loud, sing or dance
  • Do not wear any fancy jewellery

Highlights of the Festival

Prayer tuning, sutra chanting and Cham dancing are the religious activities performed during this festival. During this day, lamas change Tarboche flag pole which is located at South of Kailash Kora Mountain. The lamas believe that if the pole does not stand erected after it is changed, it is inauspicious.

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