Apart from regular attraction, festivals and ceremonies of Sikkim have charm of their own. The pageantry of the religious festivals and masked dances of the lamas to the tune of typical music and chants enthrall visitors. Each time a festival arrives it brings with it immense joy, celebration and fun.
Pang Lhabsol is one unique Sikkimese festival in which Mt Khangchendzonga, the guardian deity of Sikkim is worshipped with great devotion. Pang Lhabsol falls on the 15th of the seventh month of the Tibetan calendar, which corresponds with the month of September. The popular mask dance at the Pemayangtse Monastery in west Sikkim is significant.
The Jorethang Maghey Mela to celebrate Maghey Sakranti is another attraction. Traditional food stalls are set up selling local food. Cultural events like the Dhaan Naach by the Limbu community are put up. The fair becomes a local trade hub where local agricultural produce is offered for sale. The fair goes on for six days and a football match is also held. A merry gathering, one could be thrilled to watch the colours of tradition and rural lifestyle. The confluence of the Teesta and Rangit is one auspicious point where people are seen to take a dip in the early morning.
Bumchu at Tashiding Monastery is a sacred festival where level in the Bumchu, a water vessel, tells the luck of the year ahead.
Sage Dawa, celebrates Buddha’s birth, enlighten and nirvana. The festival is marked by monks taking out the procession of Holy Scriptures. It falls on a full moon of the 4th Buddhist month somewhere around end of May and beginning of June.
Tendong Lho Rum Fat is a Lepcha festival worshipping Mt Tendong in south Sikkim.
Dussehra is a Hindu festival celebrated in October. A fortnight after comes Diwali, the festivals of lights which is celebrated in Sikkim with much fanfare. Goddess Laxmi is worshipped for a favorable livelihood and the women go about singing in village till late at night. The following day the men and boys go around in groups for Deosay.
The Drukpa Teshi is yet another Buddhist festival. On this day in far North Sikkim yak races are held to mark the celebrations.
Losoong marks the end of harvest season and also end of the Tibetan year. Chaams are performed at the Phodong, Rumtek Tsuklakhang monasteries which symbolize the riddance of the evil spirits and inviting the good ones. Archery completions are held during the day.
Apart of traditional festivals, Sikkim has a lot of music and food festivals and mahotsavs to offer. The
Gangtok Food Festival is an annual event held in December. The Mangan music festival is gaining popularity. Other popular mahotsav is the Namchi Flower festival. Similarly festivals at Pelling and Ravangla are fun to attend. So next time if you plan to visit Sikkim, be a part of the festival and enjoy your stay...