Saturday, September 21, 2013

Happy Blessed Rainy Day

Today is Blessed Rainy Day in Bhutan or Thure, a nationally observed holiday that marks the end of the monsoon (or rainy season) and the beginning of the fall. For farmer ( which according to most statistic would describe most Bhutanese) it means the growing season is behind them and the harvest is not very far away.

On Thure all natural water  is considered holy and everyone is encouraged to take an outdoor bath in order to cleanse themselves of their accumulated bad karma. Some people will leave a bucket out to gather rain overnight and then bathe with it in the morning. 

Its also an important family holiday and when I taught in the east of Bhutan, where the holiday is considered particularly important, many of my students made a huge effort to travel home for the day.  As it is with many family holidays sharing a meal is an important part of the celebration. Many families will start the day with a bowl or two or three of rice porridge or Thup is particularly important 

My sister's inlaws ( who are easterns) invited us to join them for  breakfast which of course turned into a regular feast. 

As with many visits in Bhutan  the meal started off with sweet milk tea and biscuits  ....

 quickly followed by steaming bowls of thup...

I ate three bowl full of the rice porridge  before realizing that another rice dish, shamdey ( a mixture of rice, butter, meat, eggs and sometimes a little spring onion) was waiting to be served!

This time with a little suja or butter tea....

At the end of the meal my sister's father-in-law insisted that my brother, Sonny, join him in celebrating the day with a glass or ara or home brewed alcohol. 

Another reason to raise a glass? This post mark an anniversary for this blog! One year ago one of my very first posts was about Blessed Rain Day and the thub we ate!