This is a Buddhist festival which is observed on 14th and 15th days of first month of Tibetan lunar calendar. It is derived from the word bum – means pot and chum means water.
The Bum as per Tibetan culture is considered as sacred and it is made of myriads of sacred oil, precious jewels and water. These elements are collected from various occasions place in India, Zahir and Odiyana. This 2-day festival is providing a deep insight into Buddhism and their rituals and beliefs.
This festival came into existence between 755 and 804 CE. During this era, there was one king who was instrumental in introducing Buddhism in the region.
During that time, guru padmasambhava was invited to perform holy sadhana. He sprayed these lands with sacred water from their vase. Then this vase water was hidden as treasure and was kept as secret till the 17th century. This vase was found or rediscovered by the reincarnation of Padmasambhava only. The Bhumchu festival was celebrated with excitement and joy.
Opening ceremony of Vase –
On the first day – a sacred vase is opened at Tashiding monastery. By just watching the water level in it, lamas predict for the coming year for Sikkim. If they found –
The water level filled up to the brim- it shows revolutions and turmoil.
The water level is low – which signifies drought and turmoil.
Water is half filled – prosperous and peaceful year ahead.
Distribution of Water –
Water from the pot is considered auspicious. They believed that it brings prosperity and good luck to their consumers. Only a small amount of water is distributed. The devotees start standing in queues from midnight.
Closing ceremony –
The closure ceremony is conducted on the second day. The pot is again filled with water from nearby sacred rivers and then it is sealed while special prayers are chanted in the background. The pot is closed until next year and then opened again at Bhumchu festival next year. If one is looking to experience rich culture and tradition of Sikkim, then you should not visit Bhumchu festival