Panglhabsol festival 2017 is being celebrated with full grandeur at Maney Chokerling monastery, Ravangla today. The main attraction of the festival is the ‘Pangtoed Chaam’ which is a warrior dance and has its own historic connotation
Friendship, harmony, a lofty mountain and a wrathful deity — these are the four things that Pang Lhabsol, an annual festival in Sikkim, is about. The peaceful hill-state was once torn apart by strife and enmity between the Lepchas and the Bhutias (of Tibetan origin). Locals believe that Pang Lhabsol was first celebrated sometime in the 13th century to mark the beginning of peaceful relations between the warring groups. Lepcha chief Thekongtek and Tibetan crown prince Khya Bumsa erected nine slabs at Kabilunchok (near Gangtok, the current capital), tied animal intestines around those, and took a blood oath of friendship under the gaze of the mighty Khangchendzonga (considered a guardian deity of Sikkim by the Lepchas). Mahakala, a deity revered by the followers of Vajrayana Buddhism as the enforcer of dharma, is also associated with this historic occasion.

Celebration of the Pang Lhabsol Festival

Held in several monasteries across Sikkim in the seventh month of the Tibetan calendar (August-September) every year, the festival is becoming popular among tourists, photographers and documentary filmmakers. The highlight of the day-long festivities is the mask dance — an ancient Bon Tibetan ritual — by the lamas. Locals turn up in big numbers to seek the blessings of the deities and the monks, while visitors eagerly await the parade of the dancers in colourful masks and drapes.

At Sikkim the third largest Mountain called Kanchenjunga is located and it is replete with numerous Buddhist Monasteries. The Monasteries are the sites of pilgrimage for the Mahayana Buddhist and Hinayana Buddhists. The Pang Lhabsol is designated as the third Chogyal of Sikkim. The word Phang means witness. The third Chogyal of Sikkim is recognized for the task of maneuvering the Pang -Toed Dance of the present day Monks.

Chogyal is the chronological and religious king of Sikkim who presides over all the holy ceremonies and scrutinizes the fate of people. In Sikkim the people worship the Lord Khanchendzonga who is also known as Chakdor Namgyal. This is a fiesta that ensures fellow feelings amongst the Lepchas and the Bhutias. The feeling of brotherhood is not rational but is based on the concept of love preached by Lord Buddha, because “Feelings are not supposed to be logical. Dangerous is the man who has rationalized his emotions” (David Borenstein)

This process can only be attained by the implementation of Kye Bhumsa and Thekong Tek. On the day of the grand carnival the Lama displays the principal deity as a red –faced guardian angel, with a crown and five faces. He rides on a Snow Lion. The pageant show is exquisite and elegant, and is a remarkable show that deserves approbation and distinction.