The annual 3-day Water Festival, popularly known as Sangken, began on Saturday with traditional throwing of water on each other, on revellers and pedestrians alike, amidst euphoric enthusiasm and colour. Sangken is a celebration that embraces goodwill, love, compassion and thankfulness, using water as the means of expression.
The festival is celebrated as the traditional Buddhist New Year’s Day by the Tai Khamti, Singpho and Tangsa (Tikhak) communities across the State. The significance of water is to wash away bad luck and start the New Year on a new note.
People, young and old, dressed in their best traditional attire thronged Buddha Vihara of their respective villages and brought out the statues of Lord Buddha to be placed at the makeshift temporary shrine called Kyong fra Sangken after paying obeisance to the Triple Gems-the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha.
Thereafter, water pouring on Buddha statues which is considered as an iconic ritual of this festival was performed. The statues of Lord Buddha are kept in the makeshift temporary shrine till the end of the Sangken festival celebration.
After performing the traditional rituals of offering candles, flowers and the bathing of the Buddha, revellers at the Buddha viharas erupted in merriment and splashed buckets of water unto each other and people in the streets. Sharing of homemade sweets and dishes also form an integral part of this festival.