- The Asar Pandra festival is very important to the farming communities of the state, as it marks the day farmers begin sowing paddy in their fields.
GANGTOK- The northeastern state of Sikkim, also known as the nature’s paradise, celebrated the most important festival ASAR PANDRA, which marks the arrival of the monsoons and onset of the crop plantation season in the state.
The arrival of monsoon is marked by the month of Asar in the Nepali calendar. The 15th day in the month of Asar (or Aashadh), that falls in June is popularly called Asar 15. This day is celebrated mostly by the farmers in Sikkim, Darjeeling hills, and Nepal as important agriculture festival.
The 15th day in the month of Asar (or Aashadh), popularly called Asar Pandra, is being celebrated as an agricultural festival for centuries in Nepali culture.
This day has been marked as the beginning of a new farming season which means new growth with new hope. Although in Darjeeling/Sikkim, India, most of the people do not own farming lands but we do celebrate giving an honor to the day by eating Dahi Chewra( curd and flattened rice) as a tradition.
Today is the day when farmers start sow their seeds for rice cultivation which makes it most significance day in farmer’s life. So, they welcome the day with dancing, singing, playing with mud and plating the seeds too. Back in the day, because of the busy schedule, cooking was hectic, so they usually have dahi mixed with chiura, banana so that they would feel full for a long hours of the working day. Over the period, the practice got established as a tradition. So, cheers to all the Gorkha family around the world and hope our farming folks blessed with immense prosperity
Asar is the month of Ropain (rice plantation) celebration. From this day most farmers starts planting new seedlings of rice crops of the year in their paddies. The month of Asar is favourable for paddy cultivation due to the rainy season that prevails during this month.
Farmers in the villages get really busy working on their paddy fields hence the term Asar ko Pandra which is often used to signify haste or busy.To save more time to plant rice seedlings, farmers prepare an easy and healthy meal with Dahi (Curd) and Chiura (Beaten Rice).
Both men and women participate in rice plantation. Men take the responsibility of ploughing the fields using ox, arranges drain water and make fine mud slurry field while women gather the seedlings and plant them.
Planting rice is a celebration and various games are organised such as race in the muddy field, mud holi, planting the allotted field, dance and eat beaten rice with yoghurt (Dahi-Chiura).
The festival helps unify the local villagers because every household sends a member to support other families during the festival. Our culture is about festivities and merrymaking which is also reflected in our work that is the sign of success to have a good harvest.
The day is well marked even in the urban towns at least by taking beaten rice with curd.
IN GANGTOK- A special event to commemorate the eve of Asar Pandra, Agriculture Department organized programme in a grand manner at Nazitam Agriculture Farm, Martam block,Gangtok District.
The main reason of organizing this event is to pay respect to the farmers. It is also a chance to celebrate the age old traditional practices of farming practiced in state.
During the programme five most dedicated and hardworking employee of farms were felicitated with letter of appreciation from Secretary Agriculture. To mark the end of the occasion all the officials present at the event participated in the plantation of paddy with zeal and enthusiasm.
Secretary Agriculture Jigme Dorjee Bhutia , Principal Director Tilak Gazmer, Director PMKSY Jagdish Pradhan , Director Agriculture T T Bhutia, consultant MOVCD Sonam Rinchen Bhutia, Joint Directors, Deputy Directors, ADO, AI and field functionaries of Gangtok District were also participated.