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Festivals of Sikkim

Author: TG Contributor
Date: 2020-06-02

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Sikkim is adorned with colorful Buddhist monasteries in the west, lush green valley’s in the north, religious stupas in the south, and the urban hustle-bustle in the east. From every corner, Sikkim offers spectacular views of the Khangchendzonga range. The snow-covered mountains, terrace farming, and organic vegetable gardens are not only a visual treat but they also invigorate one's soul by their beauty. Immerse yourself in the unique cultures of the most 3 dominant tribes -Lepchas, Nepalis, and Bhutias.

Sikkim is the best place to visit which is wealthy in history and culture, in particular locals commend celebrations with incredible energy. With many ceremonies, rituals, and things to do during these festivals, the entire colorful arrangement becomes a beautiful spectacle that one should not miss while on a holiday at this beautiful destination.

Festivals of Sikkim:

Red Panda Winter Festival: It is one of the most awaited cultural events in Sikkim. The 9-day long carnival, mostly held at the Titanic Park of M.G. Marg in Gangtok, is a fiesta of culture, celebrations, and ethnic food that brings together both locals and tourists.

Maghe Sakranti: It is a Nepalese festival observed on the first of Magh in the Hindu calendar (about 14 January) bringing an end to the winter solstice containing month of Poush. Tharu people celebrate this particular day as New Year. It is celebrated every year in Jorethang with great enthusiasm by the local people. A cultural program is also held at the fair, and you can taste different cuisines of Sikkim. The fair is quite fun to visit.

Losar: It is a festival in Tibetan Buddhism. The holiday is a new year's festival, celebrated on the first day of the lunisolar Tibetan calendar, which corresponds to a date in February or March. Losar is celebrated for 15 days, with the main celebrations on the first three days.

Saga Dawa: Saga Dawa or the Triple Blessed Festival is an auspicious month for the Sikkimese Buddhists with prayers held throughout the month in various monasteries. On the full moon of this 4th month of the Tibetan calendar (celebrated as Buddha Purnima in the rest of India) is the main celebration.

Tendong Lho Rumfaat: It is a festival of the Lepcha people of north-east India. The festival occurs usually in the month of August. 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. The 2017 date was August 8. It is also called the ‘Prayer of the Tendong Mountain’.

Pang Lhabsol: It is celebrated on the 15th day of the 7th month of the Tibetan calendar corresponding to late August/early September. Chaam (masked dance), which is the main part of this festival, is unique and done exclusively in Sikkim at two monasteries: Tsuklakhang (Gangtok) and Rabong monastery.

Durga Puja (Dashain): Dashain also Bijaya Dashami is a festival originating from Nepal]. Also, in parts of India, it is called Dashera. It is the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Bikram Sambat and Nepal Sambat annual calendar, celebrated by Nepali tribe. Dashain symbolizes the victory of good over evil.

Diwali: It is the festival of lights locally known as Tihar. It is celebrated exactly a fortnight after Dashain. According to the legend, Lord Ram's return to Ayodhya after fourteen years in exile was celebrated on this particular day by lighting of earthen lamps all over. Before the festival, all the Hindus clean, white wash and paint their houses and surrounding areas. Earthen lamps and candles are lit and electrical decoration also takes place. People worship Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth too at night. The festival goes on for five days.

Tihar Rangoli

Tihar Rangoli

Kagyed Chaam: It is a popular Buddhist festival. The celebration is marked by masked monks performing rigorous dance moves symbolizing the destruction of all the evil and negative forces, thereby bringing in peace and prosperity for one and all in the upcoming New Year.

Losoong/Namsoong: Losoong, celebrated all over Sikkim, marks the end of the harvest season at the end of the tenth month of the Tibetan year. This festival is marked by traditional masked dances. It is the Sikkimese New Year, of the Bhutia tribe, celebrated every year in the month of December.


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