Darjeeling often referred to as “Queen Of The Hills” is blessed with a diverse culture. Festivals in Darjeeling is celebrated all around the year by the many groups and communities each having their own festivals. Teesta Tea And Tourism Festival is one important Darjeeling festivals where you will be acquainted with the tradition of tea. New year is celebrated in the month of January/February with full excitement. Other festivals include Maghe Sankranti, Tihar, Buddha Jayanti, and Durga Puja in Darjeeling which are pretty popular. The 10-day Darjeeling Carnival is another colourful festival where people participate in various functions to showcase their talent. The famous Darjeeling local rock bands also perform in this carnival.
8 Vibrant Festivals In Darjeeling
The Queen of Hills is blessed with diverse culture and the festivals celebrated by each are beautiful and unique. Below is the list of all the must to experience festivals in Darjeeling.
1. Teesta Tea And Tourism Festival
Teesta Tea and Tourism festival is one of the most important festivals in Darjeeling. Celebrated in the month of November or December, Darjeeling tea festival attracts tourists from various parts of the world. The event includes the display and exhibition on the culture of tea and tasting sessions. Tea lovers will be educated and acquainted to the tradition of tea. You can even buy different types of tea including scented teas, black tea, oozing tea, white tea, masala tea and green tea.
2. Darjeeling Carnival
The popular Darjeeling Carnival is celebrated in the month of November. The main feature of 10-day carnival includes is rock and band music in English, Bengali and Nepali by the localities, painting and photo exhibitions, poetry reading sessions by different groups and many more such activity. Local and traditional food stalls are set up where people of all ages come and enjoy. Of all the festivals of Darjeeling, this one is very interesting.
3. Darjeeling Orange Festival
Darjeeling Orange festival helps visitors to get familiar with the fruit, its quality and type and the methods of its conservation. Orange festival happens mostly in December attracting villagers from over 50 villages to participate. It is one of the best events in Darjeeling. Sometimes the fest is held outside Darjeeling to attract more particpation and buyers of the fruit.
Dates:-1st – 30th November
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4. New Year Celebrations
Apart from the festivals celebrated in Darjeeling, New Year’s eve always marks for special celebrations in the town. With the start of the year in January, the Bhutias and Lepchas celebrate the New Year with vibrant traditional dances on the streets. It is one of the best experiences to witness these long processions. Fairs are also organized around this time where you can enjoy authentic local food items such as momo and thupka.
Around the middle of the month, Nepalis observes Maghe Sankranti. This day is the beginning of the Nepali month Magh. The festival also marks the onset of spring season in Darjeeling. The main rituals of the festival include taking a bath in the rivers and eating only Tarool and combination of a variety of edible species.
Tibetan Year comes to an end at the end of January. For a grand celebration, they have a festival to turn aside all the negativities of the old year. Most Monastries even have Tibetan dance with the most famous in Thupten Sangag Choling Monastery. They have a special Mandala prayer where you can see the glowing Mandala.
Dates: 31st December
Losha is the most important festival in Tibetan calendar. It is celebrated in February or beginning of March marking the Tibetan New Year. The celebration goes on for about a week where Tibetans cook delicious food, wear new clothes and dances their heart out. On the 11th day of the festival, the Tibetans celebrate Cho Nga Chopa. The purpose to celebrate this is to increase the devotions of the Buddhists. 15th day of the festival is called Chotrul Duechen which is a day of offering for the Tibetan Buddhists. In order to know the culture of Darjeeling, you need to participate in this festival.
Dates: 24th – 26th February
6. Ram Nawami And Chaita Dasai
On Ram Nawami day, a procession carrying Lord Ram’s idol is taken out along with lots of fun. This particular day is also called Chaita Dasai. It is celebrated with a prayer offering to Devi (Shakti) for the triumph of good over evil. On this day everyone puts brightly coloured rice (mixed with curd ) tika as blessings on the forehead.
Dates: 2nd April
Tihar is an important festival of Nepali Hindus that begins with feeding crows and conclude with Bhai Tika. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on the third day along with money and jewellery. It is a traditional practice to gamble on this day and in the evening young girls go door to door, singing Bhaileni where they are offered food and money. The day of Bhai Tika is a merry time for the Nepalis where the brother goes to their sister’s house.
Dates: 14th November
8. Buddha Jayanti
The major celebrations of Buddha Jayanti take place in Darjeeling. This is another important Darjeeling festivals. Prayers are offered in the Buddhist temples for well being and prosperity of the community with utmost dedication. Celebrated on the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha, the preacher of Buddhist community, this festival is mostly celebrated in the month of May.
Dates: 7th May, 2021
When we think of Darjeeling the image of beautiful hills immediately conjures. But you got to know the mesmerizing hill station has got more than just that, especially when it comes to Darjeeling festivals and events. The place has a distinct culture each celebrating festivals in their own exciting way. If the above list of festivals excited you enough, plan your vacation to Darjeeling. Enjoy the unique and vibrant festivals and we are sure you will have a great time at the foothills of the Himalayas.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Festivals In Darjeeling
Q. Is Holi celebrated in Darjeeling?
A. Yes, Holi is celebrated at this mesmerizing hill station as it is one of the famous festivals in Darjeeling.
Q. What is the culture of Darjeeling?
A. The culture of Darjeeling is unique and interesting.
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