tendong lho rum faat
DatesStart Date: 08-08-2023 End Date: 08-08-2023
The Tendong festival is considered to be one of the most ancient, significant and important festivals celebrated by Lepcha Tribe in Sikkim. Sikkim is a state in the northeastern part of the country famous for its Biodiversity. The Lepcha’s are a tribe in north east India. The Lepcha’s are called the Rongkup which means the children of God in their language. They speak their own language and have their own script known as the Rong or the Lepcha Script. Their tribes are mainly settled in parts of Sikkim, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and such.
It is believed in accordance with the Lepcha mythology that the Tendong hill had risen from the horns of a deity when it was created and that it saved the entire tribe during the great rain which had drowned the entire ‘Mayel Lyang’, which is known to us as Sikkim today. In the Lepcha dialect, the name of the Tendong hill translates to ‘the hill of the raised horn’. Therefore, the Lepcha tribe to commemorate this incredible and miraculous even celebrate the festival to show appreciation to the great hill that had saved their ancestors during the great purge and as a way of showing their respect.
In lieu of the celebrations, the people make a replica or a model of the Tendong Hill and in their homes and worship it. The celebrations go on for about three days and are held in the third lunar month which is in July and August every year. During the festival, the people wear masks and sing and dance joyously to get the blessings of the Almighty so that they continue to be prosperous and healthy. They also celebrate the passing on of their lineage and celebrate the survival of their ancestors during the great event and pay respect to the almighty who created the hill to save them in their time of despair.
The festival is celebrated in the whole of Sikkim including places like Namchi which is the capital of South Sikkim. It is also the place where Namdong Hill is situated. One major highlight of the festival is the trek to the Tendong Hill. The trek not only attracts pilgrims and devotees but also many trekkers around the world. The trek starts from Damthang which is approximately 13kilometers away from Ravangla. The trek is about 6 kilometres long. And on the very top of the Namdong hill resides a monastery and a watchtower which is of immense cultural significance to the Lepcha tribe.
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