The paradise in Northeast India, Sikkim is small but beautiful - a place of natural wonders, cultural vibrancy, and a hearty lifestyle. The serenading landscapes, heartwarming hospitality, and vibrant festivals have been a significant part of Sikkim Tourism.
The festivals of Sikkim are a unique concoction of history and culture. Aka, the last Himalayan Shangri La, Sikkim brims with pleasant vibes and festive spirits all through the year. And this indeed allures tourists from around the globe.
With a plethora of festivals, there are quite a few that are totally worth exploring while you plan an escapade to paradise.
Right from celebrating cultural festivals in full flair, folks of Sikkim stay enthusiastic whilst celebrating music, art, nature, adventure, and all that is necessary to put across the kaleidoscope of diversity that is an example in the world. Here’s a list of 10 Colorful festivals of Sikkim, I hope these excite you too. Take a dekko:
Losoong is the new year festival of Sikkim. Losoong Festival is the harbinger of the new year and new beginnings. It is a 4-day festival that is celebrated from the 18th day of the 10th lunar month that usually falls during the month of December. Various monasteries in Sikkim such as Rumtek and Tsuklakhang Palace organize cultural events that are a spectacle of traditional rituals and folk dances. At the time when locals and visitors take part in various ceremonies and gorge on the delectable cuisines of Sikkim, the festival takes on to another level of enjoyment and merrymaking. Losoong is definitely worth experiencing.
Highlights of Losoong Festival - The Cham dances at the monasteries
Losar is the Famous Festival of Sikkim. Losar Festival holds special significance to the Tibetan Buddhists and local communities of the northeastern state. Losar is celebrated to mark the new harvesting season and new year. During this festival of Sikkim, Cham mask dance is performed by the lamas in monasteries, and buckets of Tsampa (a mixture made with roasted barley flour and butter) are offered at the altars of the home so as to bring prosperity by bounty harvest in the following year. People from all over the world visit Sikkim in the month of February to witness the cultural vibrance during this festival when every corner of the street is adorned with beautiful decorations.
Highlights of Losar Festival - Rituals and Yak dance performances on the streets
Observed on the 14th and 15th day of the first month of the Tibetan lunar calendar that falls in the month of February or March, Bhumchu Festival is celebrated with utmost faith and great enthusiasm at Tashiding Monastery in Sikkim.
Tashiding Monastery is one of the significant places to visit in Sikkim as it is the monastery where the Vase Opening Ceremony takes place which is the major highlight of the Bhumchu festival. This ceremony holds immense significance as the lamas predict the future of the impending year by looking at the water level in the sacred pot. It's a two-day festival that is attended by a large number of tourists who wish to delve into the cultural ethnicity of the state.
Highlights of Bhumchu Festival - The sacred pot ceremony
Saga Dawa Festival is one of the most famous festivals of Sikkim that offers a unique experience of getting acquainted with philosophies of Buddhism. Various religious ceremonies and street processions are held during this festival which is no less than a visual treat and therefore many people from different regions take part in this amazing festival of Sikkim. During this insightful festival, Lord Buddha’s birthday is celebrated and the monks of Mahayana Buddhism light butter lamps to pay obeisance to Lord Buddha as he is believed to be the supreme master who enlightened their paths in life.
Highlights of Saga Dawa Festival - Philosophies of Lord Buddha and butter lamps made by monks
One of the four major Buddhist festivals, Lhabab Duchen Festival is about commemorating one of the four events in the life of Lord Buddha. Falling on the 22nd day of the ninth lunar month in the Tibetan calendar falls in the month of November. According to legends, Lord Buddha descended to earth from heaven on this auspicious day by a special ladder that was created by the God of machines, Viswakarma in order to enlighten the world with lessons of life. Every year, the people of Sikkim paint the facade of their houses and temples to greet Lord Buddha. People also paint ladders on rocks around many monasteries to symbolize his return. A large number of pilgrims visit Lhasa during this festival.
Highlights of Lhabab Duchen Festival - Spiritual enlightenment
Hosted at a tiny hamlet in West Sikkim during the summer season, the Hee Bermiok Festival is about feasting and merrymaking. It's an annual festival which began in 2005 and since then the Hee Bermiok festival is held every year during the month of May. During the festival, the visitors are greeted with regional specialties such as rice wine and delectable cuisines. It's a four-day festival that offers the spectacle to vibrant customs and traditions with a mesmerizing tour to the bounty nature of this little paradise that nestles close to Gangtok.
Highlights of Hee Bermiok Festival - Taste local delicacies and savour the virgin beauty of Hee Bermiok
Celebrated for three days during the month of July or August, Tendong Lho Rum Faat is the ancient and significant festival of Sikkim that is celebrated by the Lepcha community. The major highlight of this intriguing festival is a trekking excursion that begins from Ravangla and ends at Tendong Hill. This festival is a delight for trekkers, bird watchers, wildlife buffs, and of course the Lepchas who embark on an adrenaline-pumping trek through thick forests and gurgling rivulets. Organized in Namchi, Tendong Lho Rum Faat offers a glimpse into the cultural and mythological essence of the local tribe of Sikkim which in fact draws tourists from around the world.
Highlights of Tendong Lho Rum Faat Festival - Trekking through dense forests and sparkling streams