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India Travel Guide

Events & Festivals In Sikkim

Elaborate and colourful festivals have important religious significance as well.

Maghe Sankranti - This Hindu festival marks the coming of the spring season. The festival is celebrated with fairs held at the confluence of the rivers. Devout Hindus take a holy dip in designated spots. Jorethang in South Sikkim and Tribeni near Teesta Bazaar are important sites. The festival is held on January 14th-15th every year.

Chaite Dasain - An important festival of the Hindu Nepalese in Sikkim, it signifies the victory of good over evil. The festival is very similar to Ram Navami and is held on April 14th every year. The elders bless the young ones during the festivities.

Tihar - The Nepalese counterpart of the festival of lights or Diwali. The festivities include lighting of oil lamps etc. This is truly a time of feasting and merry making.

Kagyed - This festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil and is celebrated post harvest. A masked dance known as Chaam is an integral part of the festivities. It is held at the Rumtek, Phodong and the Tsuk-La-Khang monastery on December 26th.

Losoong - This Sikkimese festival marks the Buddhist New Year after the end of the harvest season. Archery contests are held to mark the occasion. The festival marks four days of celebrations from December 28-31.

Losar - A time of celebrations and feasting, this festival marks the beginning of the Tibetan New Year. The festival is held every year on February 7th.

Bumchu - The history of this festival dates back to the 1700. Bumchu literally means the holy pot of water. Bumchu is a Buddhist festival celebrated at the Tashiding Monastery on the first 15th day of the first Tibetan calendar year (January-February).

It is believed that the sacred pot foretells the fate of the land in the coming time. If the pot is filled upto brim, then it indicates turbulent times whereas a half-filled pot indicates a year of peace and prosperity. The holy water is distributed among the devotees and the pot is then refilled and sealed and is then opened the next year.

Drukpa Tsheshi - Held at the Deer Park in Gangtok, the Drukpa Tsheshi festival has religious significance for the Buddhists. It marks the day when Lord Buddha imparted his first sermon to his five disciples at Sarnath. Held in the 4th day of the 6th month of the Tibetan calendar i.e. around July/August, chanting of religious hymns and prayers marks the festivities. The unique feature of the festival is the Yak Race, which lends an air of adventure to the otherwise religious proceedings.

International Flower Festival - Held in the month of April/May near White Hall in Gangtok, the flower festival showcases many species native to the area. A host of rare orchids, 40 species of rhodendrons are on display at the festival. Also on display are about 240 different species of trees and ferns, 150 different types of gladioli, magnolia, different types of creepers, foliage plants, roses, cacti, alpine plants etc. Lectures and Seminars on Horticulture are also a part of the exciting line up at the festival.

Phang Lhabsol - Celebrated on September 15th, the Phang Lhabsol honours Mt. Kanchenjunga, the guardian deity of Sikkim. It also marks the day when the blood brotherhood treaty was signed between the Lepcha and the Bhutia community members.

The unique feature of the festivities is the spectacular warrior dance choreographed by the third chogyal Chodor Namgyal to keep his soldiers fighting fit.

Saga Dawa - This is believed to be the day when Lord Buddha was blessed three times. Held on June 18th, this was the day when Lord Buddha soul entered his mother womb, the day as an adult when he attained enlightenment and nirvana. In Gangtok a large procession is taken out to mark this day. Monks and other Buddhist religion followers wind through the streets with holy books, banners and icons.

Guthor Chaam - Held at the Rumtek, Pemayangtse and the Phodong monastery, this festival is held to welcome the new year and marks the end of the Tibetan calendar year.

Guru Rimpoche Trungkar Tsechu - Held at the Rumtek monastery, the festivities feature an elaborate dance drama enacting the eight different manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava also known as Guru Rimpoche. The patron saint is believed to have been responsible for the spread of Buddhism in Tibet.

Tendong Lo Rum Faat - This festival is celebrated to thank the Tendong Hill, which is believed to have saved the community during the time of floods by rising like a horn above the floodwaters and thereby saving many lives.


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