History of Tendong Lho Rumfaat
According to Lepcha belief, their ancestors went atop the Tendong Mountain to escape from 40 days and 40 nights of continuous rain. This festival commemorates that happening. Tendong Mountain is situated in the midst of Sikkim and is revered by the people as their God.
During the time of creation, the Himalayan range was just forming and the Teesta and the Rangeet Rivers had not yet started flowing down. A great volcano of high intensity destroyed and damaged Naho and Nather Pokh, the sources of Teesta River and Rangeet River and immediately waters from these two sources started running down as Teesta and Rangeet rivers. As the rivers started flowing down, unfortunately the currents of water washed away the embankments and weathered away the places situated at the two edges of the rivers causing panic, fear and death of the inhabitants. They left their places and ascended the mountain and other hilly regions for safety and refuge. The inhabitants residing on and around Mount Tendong also ascended the peak of the mountain for safety. Such was the chaotic condition of the entire inhabitants of the region when co-incidentally and fortunately a small bird, known in Lepcha language as ‘Kohampho’ secretly stole and ate up Mongchibape, locally prepared liquor that caused another earthquake of similar intensity that shook and trembled the whole earth. As a result numerous high mountains cropped up at the Northern part of Mile Liang and the two destructive rivers started flowing Southwards thereby enabling the frightened inhabitants save their life and property. Lepcha tribe was thus saved from complete destruction; therefore, they still pay respect and worship to these high hills and mountains that saved their ancestors.
"Tendong Churumjan" is the paying homage to Mount Tendong. It is an important religious occasion participated by all Lepchas irrespective of their social, political and economical differences. Similarly, Kohampho, the small bird also confessed and accepted his mistake of stealing the intoxicant and pleaded for mercy to the mother of creation and secured the safety of Lepchas, otherwise, their destruction was imminent. To perpetuate this festival of Lepcha Tribe have been celebrating it ever since and they will continue celebrating it in future too because they attach much importance to it.
Celebration of Tendong Lho Rumfaat
The Lepcha Priest known as ‘Bungthing’ or the Lepcha Priestess called as ‘Moone’ appeal their past relatives to merge with their originator known as ‘Liang-ith-new-roomh’. They perform prayers along with their ancestors to propitiate the creator in order to keep the people of Lepcha away from the adversities of nature. Some people construct a model of the mountain at the entrance of their houses by using 9 stones and worship it with a view to get the blessings from God of Mountains.
A grand feast is organized in order to celebrate the occasion every year. Apart from the dance, various literary and cultural programmes are held in the state capital. On the concluding day, exhibits of traditional Lepcha food, costumes and ornaments are displayed.
Indian Tribal Festivals
North East Indian Tribes
North Eastern Indian states