|Sangay Nampar Nangzay, (Mahavairicana)|
Blessed rainy day, locally known as Thrue-Bab, is truly an indigenous Bhutanese festival. With exception of Bhutan, in no other parts of the world it is celebrated. It is believed that on the particular day, the rain is thought to be sanctified by the cosmic Buddha Mahavairocana. And therefore, taking a cleansing bath from the divine rain water collected overnight is thought to purify all defilement and bad karma of a person. The festival also marks the end of farming season and start of harvest months. In eastern Bhutan, blessed rainy day is a big festival. People call it as the gateway to other celebrations because Blessed Rainy Day is the first of all festivals in the Bhutanese calendar.
The reason behind celebrating Blessed Rainy Day is drawn from Buddhism. It is said that, at the beginning of time, the universe was evolving and the sun, the moon and a planet named Rikhi also called (Thruelkar) were formed simultaneously with other solar systems. Planet Rikhi is said to be composed of water crystal jewel (Norbu Chushel). It is situated at half the height of Mount Meru ( Rirab Lhuenpo), which is the center of the universe according to Buddhism. And it is believed that in a year, there are six months of daylight and six months of darkness on that planet. The planet Rikhi makes one round of mount Rirab Lhuenpo in a year.
It is said that at half the height of Rirab Lhuenpo, there is a huge statue of Buddha Nampar Nangdzay (Vairocana). The crown of the statue is composed of the same material as that of planet Rikhi. As It passes by the orbit, planet Rikhi coincides with the crown of the statue once a year. The planet takes seven days to pass by the crown of the cosmic Buddha. During these seven days, blessed and pure rain is said to fall on earth from the confluence of the Buddha’s crown and the planet. For seven days, the Buddhas and Boddhisatvas bless the rain into pure elixir of life and good luck. The rain on that day is believed to be so holy that taking shower in its water would clean all the negativity and defilement in a person’s life. This day is marked as Blessed Rainy Day in Bhutan.
Back on earth, on the eve of the Blessed Rainy Day, we keep buckets on our roof tops to collect the sanctified rain water. In the morning, the holy rain water collected overnight is mixed with tap water and all the members of the family take bath with the blessed water with prayers and devotion. After the bath, everyone would sit around the fire and start the day with suja, thukpa and then all the delicacies of a Losar. Men, women and children would then set out to start their entertainment for the day. Thus the gateway of festivals is opened for the season. Happy Thruebab!
Acknowledegment:Chorten Norbu, Final Year, Paro College Of Education, Paro, Bhutan.