Torgya Festival, Arunachal Pradesh
Torgya is a monastic festival held every year for three days in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. The rituals include sacred dance performances by monks in bright robes and mask at the monastery’s courtyard. The dance is choreographed to the music of beating drum and cymbals, blowing of huge telescopic horns and clarinets.
Torgya Festival is a three day festival which signifying the destruction of evil spirits and harmful forces. It seeks to promote prosperity and happiness amongst the people. This festival was believed to be celebrated to chase out the evil spirits and usher prosperity and happiness for people and crops.
The Torgya Festival was carried out of the monastery in a procession of Lamas who dressed in warrior outfit and chanted war slogan. It was burnt outside the boundary wall of the monastery towards southern gate with full religious rites. This symbolizes destroying of all evil and destructive forces inflicting all living beings. Thousands of people throng the monastery during these three days in their best dresses, making the festival a carnival of colours.
The core event of the festival was Chham, a highly choreographed sacred dance lasting for three days. A select group of monks were dressed in magnificent robes and wearing masks representing various divinities and earthly characters perform Chham in the courtyard of Tawang monastery to the accompaniment of beating drum and cymbals, blowing of huge telescopic horns and clarinets.
During the festival a ritual monastic dances in magnificent traditional attires were performed in cham-lang the courtyard of the Tawang Monastery. A propitiation (Torgya) rite of Yamactaka Chak Khar Zur Gurpa is conducted and with this connotation the festival is called “Torgya”.