Bucket List of Celebrations: Festivals Of Sikkim That One Should Experience

Every state of India celebrates very different types of festivals, and each has distinct traditions. But, one thing is common among them all, that is the enthusiasm of people and the colourful celebrations. Yes, India is a hub of celebrations, and we celebrate every festival with great pomp and show!

Talking about Sikkim, it is a north-eastern state blessed with natural beauty. The festivals of Sikkim are also very colourful and grand. The way these Buddhist people celebrate their festivals is different and fun. Yes, these are vibrant like other festivities of India, but at the same time peculiar as well.

If you are going to visit Sikkim, then you shouldn’t miss the main Sikkimese festivals. Let’s know what these festivals are and how are they celebrated in Sikkim:

1. Losoong Harvest Festival:
Losoong marks the beginning of a new year for the people of Sikkim. It is a festival of joy and merriment because it also celebrates the end of a harvesting season, and beginning of a new one. This is a very significant festival, and people from every part of the world gather in Sikkim to become part of its festivities.

The whole state of Sikkim transforms into a celebration ground. Cham dances are performed everywhere by skilled dancers. These dancers wear colourful attires and unique masks to show their acrobatic moves on heart-pounding folk music. You can also witness archery competitions at various parts of Sikkim on this festival.

2. Saga Dawa Festival:
Saga Dawa is yet another main festival of Sikkim. It is celebrated by the followers of Mahayana Buddhism. These devotees celebrate three prominent events of Lord Buddha’s life through this festival; which is the birth of Lord Buddha, the moment he attained enlightenment and his salvation.

A big carnival takes place on the full moon of 4th month of Buddhist calendar. According to the English calendar, it falls at the end of May and beginning of June. Street processions take place on the final day, and all the devotees gather on the streets of Gangtok to receive the blessings of the god.

3. Sonam Lhochhar Festival:
Sonam Lhochhar is the major festival of Tamang community of Sikkim. This day also marks the starting of the Tibetan New Year. People of Tamang community dress in their traditional attires and perform mask dances to the beats of Dhampu (a traditional hand drum).

The purpose of performing these dances is to get rid of all the evil spirit and remove the negative vibes. Masked Lamas do these performances. Afterwards, many skits and other performances are also done by the Tamang community. Spectators also get to relish a tasty festive meal! All in all, it is a worth experiencing celebration!

4. Jorethang Maghey Mela:
If you love big fests, then you should surely visit the hamlet of Jorethang to witness the aura of Sikkim cultural fest viz. Maghey Sankranti Mela. This fest aims at promoting tourism, that’s why it includes lots of cultural programmes, food shows and sports competitions. It is also a grand exhibition of Sikkimese arts and crafts.

Apart from all of this, thousands of devotees gather here during the festival to take a sacred dip and perform various rituals. Music lovers will also get the chance to enjoy various performances of great musicians here.

5. Bhumchu Festival:
Bhumchu is an important festival in which the fate of Sikkim is decided for the upcoming year. Bhumchu means a pot of water. As the name suggests, the festival is centred on a sacred pot of water. This special pot remained sealed for the entire year and opened only on the morning of this festival by the Lamas. If you want to experience the colourful Sikkimese tradition and festivals, try booking tour packages from eSikkim Tourism.

These Lamas predict the future of the next year through the level of water in this pot. If the pot is full of water, then it means that people have to face natural disasters. If the water level is too low, then the upcoming year will be full of droughts and famines. The year would be prosperous and peaceful only if the pot is half-filled. This water is considered sacred, and people start forming queues from midnight to get one drop of it.

6. Drukpa Tsheshi Festival:
Drukpa Tsheshi is one of the most important Buddhist festivals. It is celebrated in a grand style in Sikkim because this state is also a centre of Buddhism. The celebrations of this festival take place on the 4th day of the Drukpa or 6th month as per the Tibetan calendar. This day is widely celebrated in every Buddhist place because it was the first time when Lord Buddha gave his sermon about the “four noble truths” to his five disciples.

A vast array of ceremonies and rituals are done at various Buddhist temples and monasteries on this festival. People who want to seek some knowledge about this religion should surely attend these festivities. Apart from it, you can also witness vibrant yak races and savour palatable Sikkimese food on this occasion.

7. Guru Rinpoche's Trungkar Tshechu:
Trungkar Tshechu is the birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche, who is the founder of Tibetan Buddhism and first introduced it in north-eastern regions of India along with other Himalayan regions. Huge processions take place on this day in various areas of Sikkim that are held by Lamas and devotees.

The concept of Chaam dances was begun by Guru Rinpoche himself. He manifested himself in eight different forms and danced in front of the demon to gain victory over him. Till then, these mask dances are known as Chaams that are performed on different festivals to present glory. You can visit any monastery of Sikkim on this day to see the Chaam dances and other events related to the life of Guru Rinpoche.

So, take part in any of the above-given festivals to make the most out of your Sikkim trip. The colourful festivals will develop an urge in you to become a part of these celebrations, forgetting about the distinctions of religions for once.

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