Bhutan is one of the most traditional cultures I have had the opportunity to know up close and personal, other than my own Motherland India.
Just like India, they celebrate festivals for harvest, new year, and even changes in seasons. One such day is the Blessed Rainy Day, or Thruebab in Dzongkha (Bhutan’s official language)!
Every year, Blessed Rainy day falls on 23rd September but as per lunar calendar it can also fall on 24th, as is the case this year, in 2019.
Blessed Rainy Day marks the end of the rainy season in Bhutan and beginning of winter. It is also considered the end of the agricultural season and the beginning of the harvest season.
The story behind the celebration of the day is this – it is believed that on this auspicious day, the rain is sanctified by the Buddha. Rain water is considered to be sacred on this special day, and said to remove bad luck, bad karma and diseases.
So, families across Bhutan collect this sacred rain water and bathe in it. Afterwards, they eat festive food and visit temples and monasteries, or play Khuru (darts) or Archery as well.
Blessed Rainy Day is a national holiday in Bhutan and one of the ways in which the Bhutanese get together and bond, and also take a break from their daily routines.
The interesting thing is that even though Bhutan is a small Buddhist country, the celebration of Blessed Rainy day is different in the eastern part of Bhutan. East Bhutanese celebrate it with more gaiety just the way they celebrate Losar (the Buddhist New Year). There is much diversity in the celebration of the festivals between two regions.
Climate change has impacted the celebrations lately, as sometimes it does not rain at all on this day, but the Bhutanese do not lose the opportunity to have fun and enjoy this holiday to the fullest!
If you’re in Bhutan on this day, you know what to do!