Gangtok, Dec 26
Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and Tika Maya Chamling have extended their best wishes and warm greetings to the people of Sikkim, particularly to the people of the Mangar Community on the occasion of Barahimizong.
Barahimizong is of great religious and cultural significance for the Mangar community as it is that time of the year when they come together to pay homage to their forefathers and kuldevtas. It is celebrated on the fifth day of ‘Mangar Purnima’, which usually falls in the month of December. Ceremonial rituals and rites are performed often on their ancestral lands. It is then followed by cultural performances depicting the tradition and customs of the Mangar community. A huge traditional feast is prepared, where one can taste the typical Mangar cuisine.
It is believed that right from the 8th century, the Mangars held a powerful position in the Eastern Himalayas and ruled over the Kali Gandaki region with Aramudi as their ruler.
Although many Mangars today have accepted Hinduism, animism and shamanism have been a core element of the community. For most of the religious ceremonies, they use a ‘shaman’. Similarly, for the festival of Barahimizong, ‘shamans’ called ‘Dhami’ or ‘Dangar’ is called upon to carry out the religious ceremonies.
The Chief Minister in his message said, “The Mangars form an important part of the various ethnic communities of Sikkim and like all, they have a rich tradition and culture which they have passed on from generation to generation. It is essential to celebrate an occasion that has been deep rooted in history and to understand the significance of this heritage.”
“Barahimizong showcases the unique cultural aspects of the Mangar community and a festival like this is an archive in the diverse community of Sikkim. It is with such ethnic celebrations, that the Sikkimese people come together to understand and co-exist in harmony with one another. I wish everybody a blessed Barahimizong and pray that the strength of faith and unity grows every year,” concluded the Chief Minister.