Thursday, April 18, 2019

National Zorig Day

Bhutan has its own Zorig Day, which is similar to Viswakarma Puja and is celebrated every year on the 15th of third lunar month. This year it falls on the 7th May 2020 and is the 19th National Zorig day.

Bhutan is a unique country and rich in arts and crafts from time immemorial. The famous 13 Arts & Crafts, in short, Zorig Chusum (Art of Calligraphy-Yigzo, Art of Painting-Lhazo, Art of Sculpting- Jimzo, Art of Metal Casting- Lugzo, Arts of Gold & Silver Crafts-Troezo, Art of Woodcrafts- Shing zo, Art of Embroidery- Tshemzo, Art of Paper Making-Shogzo, Art of Masonry- Dozo, Art of Carving- Parzo, Art of Textiles- Thagzo, Arts of Cane & Bamboo Weaving- Tsharzo and Art of Blacksmithy- Garzo) are deeply rooted in Buddhism. Each work of art contains the same principles and symbolisms as well as ideologies, which make this practice so ancestral. 

With the existence of our traditional arts and crafts along with experiencing latest modern technologies on continuous basis in the kingdom, the need of Zorig Deity and Zorig Day was felt that will help boost and raised the moral of all blue collar workers, the technical workforce that drives the economic of the country. Having such great occasion yearly also creates a platform to allow individual to pay reverence and appreciation to the tools and implements, machines and vehicles through which maximum comforts are rendered to the humanity. 

It was under the initiative of the Ex. Prime Minister, Tshering Tobgay, the then Head, National Technical Training Authority, to have separate Zorig Day, a very unique to Bhutan.  His proposal was submitted and approved by the then Health and Education Minster, Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup. They have than approached His Holiness the 70th Je Khenpo with a request to identify a Zorig deity and declare an auspicious day to observe the Zorig day.

His Holiness the Je Khenpo identified Pel Dueki Khorlo as the Zorig Deity and the 15th day of third lunar month as Zorig day. 
His Holiness also composed a special Zorig prayer to be recited by all technical people. 
(Click to enlarge the prayer)
If you visit Bumthang Jamphel Lhakhang you will able to see the statue of Pel Dueki Khorlo or Kalachara deity that was embraced by His Holiness the Je Khenpo.

The first Zorig day was observed in the year 2002. I as a teacher at Royal Technical Institute, Rinchending during that year had an opportunity to participate in the first ever Zorig Day celebration.

Thereafter, the Zorig day was observed every year. Since the Zorig day was newly introduced in the kingdom it is not widely known to all Bhutanese and the celebration was mostly limited at the technical and vocational institutions. 

Today the celebration had gained momentum and many Bhutanese especially those who own vehicles do participate in the Zorig Day celebration.

I on behalf of all technical personals would like to express my deep sense of gratitude to H.E. Dungtse Garab Rinpoche for organizing Zorig Day in a special way and also blessing all vehicles through his Dharma Centers year after year. I am one of such beneficiaries.

I strongly urge all my friends to observed the Zorig Day by reciting the prayer composed by His Holiness.


Cultivate Generous Thought and practice giving gifts to the Sanghas.

The Buddha once explained that it is a meritorious act even to throw away the water after washing one's plate with the generous thought:...