Gangtok: Pang Lhabsol festival was celebrated across Sikkim in different monasteries on Saturday. The celebrations in the Capital were held on Palace lawns also called Tsuklakhang. The grand celebrations were marked by masked dances.
Three main dances included – opening dance by little monks, Pangtoed Cham or Victory dance by masked laymen and finally another masked dance by monks representing Mt Khangchendzonga wearing red mask and Yeshe Gonpu represented by monk wearing blue mask was performed. The devotees offered khadas (scarfs) to both representing guardian deities.
Mount Khangchendzonga, revered in Sikkim as the chief guardian deity is worshiped on Pang Lhabsol. The Dzonga deity was ordained by a Buddhist Guru to protect the people here blessing the land with rainfall,good harvest and keep away from natural calamities, in their turn people were to make humble entreaties to the deity.
Devotees offered fruits and other edibles in Monastery. The Tshuglakhang Trust had organised the puja and celebrations. The day also commemorates the blood brothership between the Lepchas and Bhutias.
This festival is unique to Sikkim and commemorates the consecration of Mount Khangchendzonga as the guardian deity of Sikkim. It is believed that the mountain god played an active role in introducing Buddhism into this former kingdom. According to a handwritten biography by Lhatsun Chenpo, the chief propagator of Buddhism in Sikkim, it was divine visions sent by the mountain god which guided him to Demajong (the hidden valley of rice, as Sikkim is referred to by the Bhutias).
During this day, the mountain god is invoked and prayed upon at Pang Lhabsol to continue protecting Sikkim.
Sujal Pradhan, NET Correspondent, Sikkim