JAWO KARM NYARU
The Jawo Karm Nyaru is an annual festival which is religiously celebrated in the 4 chiwogs of Dogar Gewog. Dogar Gewog located under Paro Dzongkhag consists of five Chiwogs.
1. Khamdrag_Sali Chiwog
2. Goensakha_Phuchekha Chiwog
3. Dawakha_Tsongkha and Chiwog
4. Isu_Mendrel Chiwog
The people of the Gewog celebrate this event annually for three days from 15th to 17th day of the 10th month of the Bhutanese Calendar.
The festival is considered as one of the most popular and revered events in the Gewog.
A three day holiday is declared by the Gewog Administration to celebrate this event.
Though there is no written record of any kind on the origin and conduct of Jawo Kam Nyaru and the festival, the Dogar Gup Lhap Tshering stated that, as per the oral history passed down from generations, Jawo literally is the village name and Karm means the star. It means on that day the moon gets full and is considered an auspicious day in carrying out any activity without having to consult an astrologer.
As per another view, during the olden days, the people of Dogar did business from Pasakha. The people who did business from Jawo village under Tenchekha-Phuchekha Chiwog had to go all the way to Pasakha on foot by halting the night on the way. Once during one of the business trips, one of the businessmen thought to himself and said, “Though we have travelled by foot on this path many times, I have never seen the moon and the star together. Today, on the 15th day of the 10th month, let us check if we can spot the moon and the star together.”
Apparently on that particular night, they saw the star and the moon together and on the same day the businessmen had just reached their homes from the business trip. They, therefore, considered this day very auspicious and told the people that wealth would accumulate if an offering is made to appease the local deities. From that day onwards, on the 15th day of the 10th month has been instituted as an annual event where the people of Dogar, especially the people of Jawo, both living in the village and those residing in other parts of the country get together on this day to celebrate and offer prayers even to this day for three days.
Firstly on the 15th day, the people of Khamdra-Sali Chiwog wakes up early in the morning and perform the purification and incense offering rituals. Then one member from each household gathers together to hoist a Lhadar (great prayer flag) with a Marchang offering.
Subsequently, in the afternoon the people gather at an identified Lhakhang to conduct the rituals to appease the local deities.
Then in the evening every household member departs to their own home for another important tradition of offering butter lamps, food and fruits to the Moon. The varieties of food are prepared and placed on a well decorated altar near a window. As soon as the moon appears, they prostrate towards the Moon and offer prayers for everyone’s well being for the coming year. After that, a feast is organized with all families gathered together with varieties of food items being displayed for dinner.
It is believed that if a guest arrives during the feasting celebration, the first guest to arrive would get one Bangchung (Bamboo bowl) full of rice, a big slice of Phagsha (pork) and Juma (Sausages). Even a newborn during this event is given or offered with the same share of treat.
After the feasting is done with, the elderlies along with the children go from house to house chanting Lolay(Chants for a good new year) till dawn.
For the people of Tshangkha Chiwog, unlike the people of Khamdra-Sali Chiwog, one member from each household gathers together where half of them go to the woods to get a long and straight pole without for Tshamshing (a Prayer flag signifying a timeline) while the other half stay back to perform rituals. Then at around 7 to 8 pm in the evening the Tshamshing is hoisted. It is believed that the Tshamshing pole should be perfectly straight and without any knots and has to be hoisted very straight and perfect. If it is not hoisted perfectly straight, it is said that some obstacles and misfortune would befall on the village.
Similarly, people of the other two chiwogs of Eusuna, Gyensakha and Phuchekha, also gather together, conduct their annual rituals, offer prayers and perform rituals to appease the deities.
On the 16th and 17th Day, the men from every household play archery while the women prepare food and bring it to the archery grounds where they all have a gala time feasting, dancing and singing. The festival finally concludes with the dance of Tashi Leybey.