While the season’s first snowfall yesterday may have caused most public services to come at halt, farmers took it as a sign of good yield and production. 

Soe gewog’s gup in Thimphu, Kencho Dorji, said today it is rare to witness snowfall. “It is a symbol of auspiciousness. White symbolises goodness.” 

He said that because it snowed only once a year, the sight of the snow was refreshing. “Not only does snow look beautiful, it is believed that whatever disease one has also gets cured.” 

The topsoil gets removed during winter in places located at high altitudes. “There is also a saying, that when it snows, the yield is good, encouraging optimism.”

For a farmer at Naja village in Paro, Naku, the snowfall meant continued water supply in the community. “Lately, we have had problems with drinking water too. The sources have dried. However, with the snow, we are at peace now because it solves our problem.” 

The 60-year old farmer said that when it snows during the 11th or 12th month, it is considered good especially for the soil. “It is a reason of celebration for farmers like me. The snow makes the soil moist and also helps in eliminating pests.” 

Last year, it didn’t snow, he said. “It was difficult to grow vegetables such as potato, chilli, wheat and cauliflower among others.” 

Paro’s Naja Gup Lhab Tshering said the community recently met and decided to conduct a ritual to make it rain or snow. “Most water sources have dried up. It is important for seeds to be disseminated before the 11th month. We were concerned about this because neither was there water for drinking nor for the fields.” 

He said that just when the community decided to resort to conducting rituals, it snowed.  “Usually water needs to be channeled into the fields for sowing seeds. With snow, it will make farmers’ work easier. Harmful pests and insects also get removed.”

Rinchen Zangmo