Nyilo – The Return of the Sun

Nyilo literally means the day when “the Sun returns”. It is believed to be the shortest day of the year.

One folk belief of Nyilo – the winter solstice, is that the Sun returns from the South after paying respect to Shinje (Sanskrit: Yamaraj). Shinje is one of the Deities of Ten Directions (ཕྱོགས་སྐྱོང་བཅུ་, chokkyong chu).

Since Shinje is also the Lord of Judgement of Death, there are believed to be many dead souls waiting for the final verdict. Some of them escape with the Sun, or they tag along. These dead souls called Shinpo are believed to bring harm, deaths and diseases to the human world.

What this entails is that the days following the Nyilo should, therefore, be dedicated to doing rituals to push them away. This maybe the reason why annual kurims for health of the house or of the clan, or even village, are conducted in the winter months.

The general norm for performing annual preventive or propitiating rituals is as follows: life threats averting rituals to be conducted in Winter months, and prosperity-seeking rituals around the Summer solstice. The latter is when the Sun returns from the North, which is ruled by Kubera – the wealth deity.

What may be suggested is that in Summer, for example, one can conduct Drolma Yuldog, or Namgyel Tongtshog, while in Winter you can do Jabzhi, Mikha Kharam, or even Tordog.

#wintersolstice #nyilo #sun #shortestday #yamaraj #yama #kubera

Source: Oral explaination by my teacher, First Tsugla Lopen Samten Dorji, who conducts his annual choku on Nyilo and on the two subsequent days

#wintersolstice #nyilo #sun #shortestday #yamaraj #yama #kubera

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