Family Festival and Special Celebration in Columbia County on August 3 Offers Glimpse of Tibetan Art, Crafts, Culture, Food, Music, and Religion

The amazingly beautiful 130-acres that comprise the Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center in Craryville, NY (Columbia County) will be transformed into a Tibetan village on Sunday, August 3, for a celebration of "Chökhör Day," a very important day in the Buddhism, the religion of Tibet, as it commemorates the first time the Buddha taught publicly, around 2500 years ago.

Craryville, NY, August 02, 2008 --( Visitors to the festival will encounter the sounds of Tibetan prayers and music; the sight of prayer flags (lungta) being raised, traditional dances, Tibetan paintings (thangkas); as well as the fragrance of Tibetan food and incense wafting into to the sky. In addition, Tibetan handicrafts are available for sale through a mini-bazaar of vendors and a Tibetan doctor will explain the traditional medicine -- and consultations may be received.*

The 2008 Chökhör Festival is presented by the Vikramasila Foundation on Sunday, August 3, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, at the Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center, 1184 Route 11, in Craryville, New York (just 20 minutes from of Hudson, N.Y.). There is a suggested donation for entrance of $7 per person, please note that proceeds from the festival go toward supporting the programs of the Vikramasila Foundation and Palden Sakya Centers. (Note: A vegetarian food plate of Tibetan and Indian specialties is $5; chai tea and lassi $1.)

One of the four most important days in the Buddhist calendar, Chökhör ('wheel of Dharma' in Tibetan) commemorates the day the Buddha gave his first public teaching – or "turning of the wheel of Dharma," (see link for additional background). This cultural and religious celebration provides an opportunity for the community to learn more about Tibetan Buddhism, through talks by the Ven. Lama Pema Wangdak, director of the Vikramasila Foundation and Palden Sakya Centers, and the Ven. Lama Guru Gyaltsen, a former member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile and executive director of the Palden Sakya Schools, as well as about the culture and traditions of Tibet.

So come to the beautiful Hudson Valley to enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of Tibet – learn to write your name in Tibetan and create colorful prayer flags. View the opening ceremony as prayer flags are raised for peace, learn to meditate, and relax in a Tibetan village for a day, transported to the heart of the Hudson Valley.

For further information and directions to Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center, call 518-325-3583, e-mail, or visit
*Note: To arrange private, 20-30 minute consultations with the Tibetan doctor, please e-mail or call 518-325-3583 in advance (donations suggested).


About the Palden Sakya Centers
During the last Saturday of most months, the Venerable Lama Pema Wangdak, offers teachings in the Hudson Valley at the Palden Sakya Centers of Woodstock and Philmont, New York. During the week he offers teachings at Centers in New York City and in Cresskill, New Jersey. In addition, there are also Centers in Jamaica, Vermont, and Dayton, Ohio. For further information, visit the website, e-mail, or call 201-541-0007 .
Palden Sakya