Fairs and Festivals in Tawang have always been a significant part of Monpa tribe. The festival in Tawang provides people with the occasions to come together and enjoy spirit of the brotherhood. They actually mirror rick culture of Tawang people, their artistic genius as well as talent in expressing themselves through dance and music which have a special place during the celebration of the festival. Just like the other tribes of the Arunachal Pradesh, festivals of Monpas are basically associated with religion and culture. Monpas in Tawang celebrates so many festivals each year. Some of the important festivals of the Monpa tribe which is principal to Tawang Township are:
Losar Festival: this festival, being the most important Monpas festival or you can say New Year festival which is celebrated every year during the end of the February month to the starting of March for about 15 days. Losar festivities include different dances, food and drinks. Torgya Festival: this festival falls on 28th day of 11th month of lunar calendar or January month. The ritual masked dances which are performed in Cham Lang or courtyard of Tawang Monastery. This is celebrated to actually quell the evil spirits and then welcome happiness as well as prosperity. Interestingly festival of the Torgya which comes after every third year is known as Dungyur.
Dukpa Tse She: well another festival in Tawang which commemorates the maiden dialogue of the Gautama Budha on Four Noble Truths to the five of his early disciples at Deer Park in the Sarnath. This festival is celebrated in the month of October. The Dukpa Tse She festivities include visit to different religious shrines and also offering obeisance.
Lhabab Duechen: celebrating the auspicious day when Lord Budha descended from the Tushita or realm of gods to Earth is known as Lhabab Duechen festival. This great festival is celebrated on 22nd day of ninth month or Gregorian month of the November. The events which are part of the festival include praying, visiting various shrines and praying.
Gaden Namchoe: It marks death anniversary of founder of Gelukpa sect, venerable Je Tsongkhapa. People basically mourn his death as they light lamps on their corridors and drink gruel made out from flour dumplings on 25th day of tenth month or December.
Choekor: It is basically a religious procession organized by village community so as to provide supernatural protection to crops shown and for the bumper harvest and to chase away evil spirit that might harm village community. This festival is being organized during the seventh month of the lunar calendar when there is minimum agricultural activity. Well this march is led by the two Kong-yoks and followed by a big queue of the people with voluminous and bulky religious holy books like Nyi-Thri, Gyur, Bum, Gye-Tong, ETC. In Choekor (the religious processions, images of deities, religious flags and religious books are carried while the monks recites blessing for the real benefit of new newly shown as well as planted crops.
Saka Dawa: The other important festival of the town is Saka Dawan which honors attainment of the Nirvana by Gautama Budha. The festival is being celebrated during the June month and festivities include paying the homage to the Gautama Budha. It is organized by state tourism department. This is a five day Tawang Cultural festival which is celebrated in October month and it showcases cultural as well as heritage of the state.
There are so many festivals and fairs in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh that will surprise you for sure and you are going to love every bit of it. Visit any time of the year this small place is celebrating throughout the year.