Chokhor Duchen, celebrated on the fourth day of the sixth Tibetan month is one of four major Buddhist holidays. It marks the Buddha’s first turning of the wheel of Dharma, which occurred seven weeks following his enlightenment and took place at Deer Park, in Sarnath, near Varanasi.
Following his enlightenment, the Buddha declared the Buddhist path as the Middle Way, free from the two extremes of austerities and self-indulgence. His first teachings were the core Buddhist teachings, of the Four Noble Truths: the truth of Suffering, the truth of the Origin of Suffering, the truth of Cessation of Suffering, and the truth of the Path, one that brings about the end of suffering.
Chokhor Duchen is considered an auspicious day where karmic reactions are multiplied manifold, thus an important time for accumulating virtue, reflecting on the teachings and rejoicing in the merit of enlightened activity. It is also a time for pilgrimage at the Deer Park site in Sarnath.