Sagadawa is the full moon of the 4th month of lunar calendar. This is the day that the Buddha was born, gained enlightenment and passed away. In a culture where the next life is considered as important as the present one, people give close attention to investing in their future, that is their future life. Sagadawa is that special month that is believed to bring even more merit than usual, an opportunity for religious minded Buddhists to acquiring a good stock of merit for their karma account.

A large number of Norlha employees devote the entire 4th month to performing various acts of merit. Some become vegetarians for the month, others give alms to the poor and still others circumambulate or prostrate around the local monasteries. The 15th of the lunar calendar, the full moon, is a holiday for the Norlha employees. All the villagers assemble at the monastery for the unfurling of the large thangka (kyigu) on the hill across from the monastery and line up to receive blessings from a visiting Geshe (a degree awarded to monks on the completion of their dialectical studies) from nearby Labrang monastery.

In Labrang, one of the largest monasteries on the Tibetan Plateau, Sagadawa is a major event that attracts pilgrims from a wide radius. They begin to congregate at the beginning of the month, and by the 15th, hundreds of beggars a sitting by the linkhor to receive alms from the circumambulators. Labrang Tashi Kyil Monastery’s circumambulation route is 3 km long, and crowded with people of all ages, as well as the sick, brought by their relatives in wheelchairs to receive the special blessings absorbed on this holy day. Norlha wishes everyone a happy Sagadawa and good wishes for this life and the next.