Bumchu is another event that forms a part of the major festivals in Sikkim. The etymology of Bumchu dissects in two words, where one is Bum meaning ‘pot or vase’ and the second ‘chu’ means ‘water’. The literal meaning of Bumchu is a “sacred pot”. Bumchu is a Buddhist festival that is celebrated at Tashiding Monastery in Sikkim, India. Initiated in 1700 AD, Bumchu falls on the 15th day of first Tibetan calendar year (January-February).
The highlight of this festival is marked by a sacred pot that contains holy water. It is believed that the water level in the pot forecasts the events of the impending year. In case, water is found till the brim, the idea of bloodshed and turbulence is indicated. If the pot is approximately dehydrated, it is an indication of severe famine in Sikkim. A half-filled pot is considered as the sign of peace and prosperity.
During the festival, a fraction of the holy water is distributed amongst the devotees. In the midst of chants and prayers, the sacred pot is again refilled with water and sealed to conclude the festival. This sacred pot is opened after one year, in the next Bumchu festival. The Bumchu is an important festival that is linked with traditions and sentiments of the Sikkimese’. The celebration of the festival attracts devotees from all parts of Sikkim.