Nov 23, 2012

Chittagong Hill Tracts: Rangamati’s Festive Look

The yearly Buddhist festival, Kathin Chibar Daan has grabbed the attention of tourists from different parts of the world as it joyously celebrates Buddhist custom and embraces religious tolerance.

Below is an article published by The Daily Star:

Kathin Chibar Daan, the biggest religious festival of the Buddhist people in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), began on 22 November [2012] at Rajban Bihar of the Chakma king with great enthusiasm and festivity.

Earlier, the festival committee, known as Upasak Upasika Parishad (UUP), of Rajban Bihar had completed all preparations to hold the 39th Kathin Chibar Daan festival this year.

The two days programme includes Pancha Shila prayers by weavers, making threads by spinning wheels, boiling, colouring and drying of threads, sewing of chibar (robes), hoisting Buddhist flag, donation of chibars to the monks and candle lighting etc.

Bishakha, a nurse of Goutam Buddha, introduced the religious festival about 2500 years ago. Since then the Buddhist community celebrate the Kathin Chibar Daan or the yellow robes offering ceremony every year.

The chibars (robes) are made of cotton and sewed by devotees under several preconditions for which it is termed kathin (difficult).

The entire Rangamati town wore a festive look on 22 November [2012]. Thousands of people, mostly Buddhist devotees from three hill districts---Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachhari gathered in and around the Rajban Bihar.

Chakma Raja (king) and chief of Chakma Circle Barrister Devasish Roy inaugurated the festival through opening the Bain Ghar (sewing room) and spinning wheel at 3:00pm at Rajban Bihar.

In his speech, Raja Devasish said every year we hold this great religious festival to uphold our religious spirit amongst the Buddhist people and to preserve our tradition and customs that we have been following since time immemorial.

The Chakma Raja sought all-out cooperation from all to hold the programme peacefully. He greeted the people of different religions and called for maintaining religious harmony.

On the occasion, a village fair has been arranged in and around Rajban Bihar.

Tourists from Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, Germany and Nepal were seen at Rajban Bihar yesterday [22 November 2012].