Rai community celebrates Sakewa Festival across Sikkim

Rai community celebrates Sakewa Festival across Sikkim

Submitted by alvin on Fri, 2016-04-22 14:06 Gangtok: Festivals bring joy and fun in the monotony of daily life. India is a land of festivals and Sikkim is no exception. The Rai community of Sikkim celebrates 'Sakewa', a rich cultural and religious festival, with full gusto and fervor. The Khambu Rais or Rais are one of the most ancient indigenous ethnolinguistic groups, mainly settled in Sikkim and Darjeeling Hills. They celebrate Sakewa with great enthusiasm. It is also known as Bhoomi Puja or Chandi Puja or worship of land. Rais are basically nature worshippers and they offer prayers to the natural supreme power "As a youth I really feel privileged to worship nature because our forefathers have been praising and worshipping nature since time immemorial. Following the same rituals is a great thing," said Dews Rai, a local here. "And since our generation is very much into other things, but keeping all that aside and coming here to celebrate Sakewa makes me feel really privileged," he added. Sakewa falls on Baisakh purnay (fifteenth day of the fifth month of the Nepali Calender) coinciding with the sowing season. The Mangma (priest) performs the prayer. One person beats the hongken (drum) loudly. The Mangpa then dances to the single drum beat. The silis, as the dance is called, consists of 108 characters of different animals and birds. After the performance of the puja, the worshippers partake wachipa which is a dish made of chicken feathers. Among various Silis, Chasum Sili is very popular. It is performed by depicting the actions of plantation of paddy, harvesting, husking, cooking and finally eating the cooked rice. The state comes alive during the festival where religious harmony among the people is clearly visible. (ANI)