The three-day-long Torgya, a calendar monastic dance with rituals festival, began in Tawang monastery in Arunachal Pradesh on January 23rd, 2020. The monastic dances in the courtyard of Tawang monastery started before daybreak with famous Pha Chan by the monks of Tawang monastery with donning masks of Pig.
This was followed by various other monastic dances. In the evening, the ritual cake Zshor or Torgya was burnt amidst huge gathering of devotees from the villages, town of Tawang and people from Bhutan. Before burning the cake, the Abbot and monks of Tawang monastery performed lots of rituals and chanting of mantras.
According to the tradition of the area, this annual festival is being observed since the inception of this monastery to protect all sentient beings from natural calamity and any other untoward incident and also for good crops.
In early days some portion of the collection of grains by the monks from different villages were used for Torgya rituals.
The festival will last for three days, on the second day the abbot of the monastery will bless the devotees with long life initiation, and on last day the monks will perform monastic dances for whole day depicting various stories of Buddhist siddhas and history of Tawang.
In the three-day festival, costumed dances are very popular and held in the courtyard of the monastery with the objective of removing evil spirits and usher all-round prosperity and happiness to the people in the ensuing year.
The popular dances performed with artists donning colourful costumes and masks are: the Pha Chan and the Losjker Chungiye, the latter is performed by the monks of the monastery.
Photo credit: Dipro Tawang