Namsai, in eastern Arunachal Pradesh, celebrated Sangken with the ceremonial descend of the images of Lord Buddha from the temples on April 14. Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein took part in the inaugural ceremony of the festival at the Paryatti Sasana Buddhist Vihara, Namsai.
Sangken is celebrated to usher in the New Year as per Buddhist religious calendar. The duration of the festival is determined by the religious authorities and the timings for the descend and ascend of images of Lord Buddha alongwith other predictions are published in a letter distributed widely called ‘Sangken Cha’. This year’s time of ascend from the makeshift temple was fixed at 9.26 pm on April 16.
During the period of the festival, people pour pure and scented water on the images. The people, irrespective of age, pour water on each other signifying the cleansing of the body and soul and thereby wishing for purity for self and others.
On Monday, a grand programme was scheduled at Empong, one of the holy shrines of Theravada Buddhism in Arunachal Pradesh where devotees from various parts of Northeast India throng to participate in the festivities and seek blessings from the sacred image installed in the shrine.