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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

This week, facts about The Blessed Rainy Day. The holiday marks a period of cleansing, in both body and spirit, for the people of Bhutan.


KNOY: It's Living on Earth. I'm Laura Knoy

(Singing up and under)

KNOY: Deep in the hills of the eastern Himalayas lies the last Shangri-La. That's the name given to the kingdom of Bhutan, a relatively untouched nation on the border between India and Tibet. This week, the people of Bhutan are waiting for the rain, and not just any rain, but the spiritual drink of the gods. It's the Blessed Rainy Day, or Thue , meaning cleansing rain. And on the eve of this holiday, families set out bowls under the night sky. They are expecting the heavenly star Rishi to pass over the land on its annual journey to meet the universal Buddha. The merging rays of these celestial bodies create the elixir of the gods, called Amrita , which falls to the ground as rain. In the morning, people use this holy water to cleanse themselves in body and spirit. The celebration then moves to the local archery field, where women bring baskets of food and men compete in Bhutan's national sport. Later, they gather for masked dancing and music, as night closes in on another day in paradise. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



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