Kshyat Sowai festival underway

Kshyat Sowai, a five-day festival of the Bugun tribe of Wanghoo and Dikhiyang villages, locally known as Rubao-Rujang of Hakhuang Dua, in Sinchung subdivision in West Kameng district, began on Thursday evening with traditional fervour.

Literally, the word ‘kshyat’ implies god, and ‘sowai’ means celebration. The festival is dedicated to the mountain god, and is generally celebrated in the month of Rua, January.

Tsering Norbu Murphew said, “Kshyat Sowai is our major festival, worshipping the mountain god, seeking blessings for optimum harvest, to avert natural calamities, and to ensure protection and wellbeing of the community.”

The festival is led by the village priest, known as phabi, with his assistant samis, who stay in a common

house called kshyat hoan, while the villagers have to stay in their clan houses, called kshyat saphao hoan, during the festival.

Men, women and children in traditional attire reach the festival spot in a procession led by the priests, and offerings are made to the mountain god for the wellbeing of the tribe’s members.

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