Staff reporter 

Hundreds of Thimphu residents rushed to meat shops at Centenary Farmers’ Market (CFM) in Thimphu yesterday to stock meat enough to last for a month. 

Starting today, all meat shops across the country will remain closed for a month to observe the Saga Dawa, which is a power auspicious month in the Bhutanese lunar calendar. 

Notifying the public to ban slaughtering animals, import and sale of meat during the month (May 31 to June 29), Agriculture Minister Yeshey Penjor reminded the public that inspectors will be placed at various entry points, check points, towns and other locations throughout the country to strictly monitor as per the mandate of the Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority. Non-compliance of the notification will be fined and penalised as per the Livestock rules and regulations of 2017

The historical Buddha, according to the Bhutanese calendar, is said to have experienced the five major events in his life on the full moon day of Saga Dawa. The Buddha is believed to have been conceived, born, to have defeated evil forces, attained enlightenment and passed away into Mahaparinirvana on this day.

To capitalise on the power of the month, it is important to avoid non-virtuous and harmful activities and engage virtuous and positive actions during the month. Remembering the Buddha and his enlightened activities, it is important to benefit others and wish all sentient beings to be free from suffering and to be enlightened. Lamas say one must, in the constant awareness of the Buddha, also strive to live up to his noble ideals, principles and wishes.