Thruebab, a day to cleanse

The most auspicious hours for the Blessed Rainy Day’s ablution to cleanse bad deeds, obstructions and defilements starts at 3:  37AM on September 23, according to astrologers from the Pangrizampa Institute of Astrology.

“The blessed rainy day will last for a week during which all natural water resources would be sanctified,” astrologer Sonam Rinchen said. He advises people to take bath or shower to be cleansed off their sins, defilement and accumulated bad karma.

Traditionally and spiritually, Thrue begins with families waking up early for a purification ritual. While some members bathe, those who are unable to do so at the exact hour, rise before dawn to at least wash their face with the sanctifying water. The head of the family prepares a traditional thup (porridge).

Thrue falls in September in the Gregorian calendar. In some localities, especially in the eastern part of Bhutan, Thruebab is considered more significant than the New Year festivals. This, according to Thinley from Galing, Trashigang, is an old tradition celebrated all over the country. “It is also a day for families to come and feast together,” he said. Thinley and his eight family members are travelling from Thimphu to Gelephu to celebrate Thrue with their families.

Thrue also marks the end of the monsoon and farming season and the beginning of the harvest season. Recognising the importance of the blessed rainy day, the government declared the day as a national holiday since 1980s.

While it is also a day of feasting and get-togethers for many urban residents, some farmers are worried that they may not get time to celebrate Thrue with their families this year.

A potato grower from Drametse in Mongar, Tashi, was in Samdrupjongkhar since September 19 to auction his potatoes. Tashi said he doesn’t know when he would be able to sell off his potatoes.

“I want to return home and celebrate thrue with my families,” the 45-year-old Tashi said. “However, I can’t leave my 30 bags of potatoes here without auctioning.”

Tashi has decided to buy some groceries and send home through his friends.

A villager from Trashiyangtse said that people in his village are excited to welcome the blessed rainy day after a yearlong farm work.  He said that some of his neighbours started brewing ara, local alcohol while others are out shopping.

According to astrologers, the blessed rainy day is also observed in other places like Ladakh in India, Nepal, Tibet, Mongolia and some parts of China.

Rinzin Wangchuk

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