Sikkim is home to breathtaking glaciers, beautiful landscapes, and varieties of flowers. Counted amongst the list of top travel destinations to visit, it is known for its natural beauty and also its rich history and culture. These elements are depicted well with the festivals celebrated here. There are many Sikkim festivals that can be enjoyed while on a vacation to this beautiful destination.
Hordes of history and a great lot of colors and vibrancy, these festive occasions in the state of Sikkim brings about a beautiful amalgamation of all these elements. With many rituals, ceremonies, and things to do during these festivals, the entire arrangement becomes a beautiful spectacle that one shouldn’t miss while on a holiday at this beautiful destination. Check out the Sikkim famous festivals list and plan your vacation accordingly.
Top 10 Sikkim Festivals to Enjoy on a Vacation
Sikkim is an ultimate travel destination amongst the travelers from not only India, but also, the foreigners who want to experience a place that is authentic, beautiful, and vibrant. This interesting northeastern state in India is quite famous for not just its natural beauty, but the many other cultural facets that it stores in its heart.
There are many Sikkim festivals that one can enjoy while on a trip to this amazing destination. Check out the details of the many festivals of this state in the list that we compiled for you. While you are planning your trip, you could include the dates of these festivals in your itinerary if you are looking for a cultural experience while on the vacation.
1. Losoong Festival
Beginning with the list of Sikkim famous festivals, Losoong is one of the most important festivals in this mesmerizing Indian state in the North East. This festival is the start of Sikkimese New Year – the reason why it is celebrated with immense joy and fervor. This is also the season of harvesting for the local communities and since the festival also coincides with this time, the celebration and merriment is doubled.
The festival has many traditional folk dances, rituals, and ceremonies. This is also an occasion to gorge upon the delectable Sikkimese cuisine. This occasion is celebrated with utmost gusto not just by the locals, but also by the tourists who are curious about the state’s cultures and the local traditional ceremonies and dances.
The dates for Losoong Festival are different every year, based on the Tibetan Lunar Calendar. The day typically falls on the 18th day of the 10th lunar month, which is usually December. The duration of this festival is for 4 days and there are arrangements for cultural programs at monasteries like Rumtek and Tsuklakhang Palace.
When: December 8th-12th, 2019
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2. Sonam Lhochhar Festival
Amongst the Sikkim important festivals is the Sonam Lhochhar Festival, also spelled as Sonam Lhosar. It is celebrated by the Tamang community in this North Eastern state in India. This marks the beginning of the Tibetan New Year for the community. The rituals are performed with the utmost gusto and the celebrations are full of fanfare and zeal.
Men and women get dressed up in colorful and traditional attire. There are masked men who dance to the rhythmic beats of Damphu to get rid of all the negative energies and evil spirits (a traditional small round drum). The exotic Tamang cuisine served during this time is delectable. This festival is also celebrated in Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet.
When: February 2019
Losar is a Tibetan word that translates to ‘New Year’ in the English language. It coincides with the end of harvesting season giving the farmers a much-needed relief from all the work and celebrating their hard work and patience. The Sikkim festivals are mostly based on the celebration of the land, the harvest, and the local communities. This festival too brings about the same zeal and enthusiasm of these elements combined together.
The occasion is really special to the Tibetan Buddhists who are residing in this beautiful state. Along with the other things, the ritual of making a mixture of roasted barley flour and butter and offering it on home altars is significant. It’s basically praying for a good harvest in the current New Year.
When: February 2019 (29th day of the 12th month of Tibetan lunar calendar year)
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The word ‘Bhumchu’ translates to a sacred pot of water. This meaning is translated and converted to actuality with the festival’s ceremonies and rituals. Like other Sikkim festivals, this occasion is also celebrated with all the pomp and show with a specific focus on the ceremonies and rituals. The first day of the festival sees the monks at Tashiding Monastery opening the sacred vase of water. This is used to predict the future and generate forecasts of the impending year.
During the closure ceremony on the second day, the pot is re-filled with the water from the sacred river nearby and sealed to be opened next year. It is a great occasion for the tourists to take a peek or maybe a deep insight into Buddhism and its customs and rituals.
When: February 2019
5. Ram Navami
Chaite Dashain is one of the most important Sikkim festivals. Ram Navami is celebrated a day before it and is also known by the name of ‘Small Dashain’. This occasion remembers the birth of Lord Rama. It is the perfect time to enjoy get-togethers and enjoy festive meals. The people who want to enjoy this festival can plan a vacation during the months of March to April months.
When: April 2019
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6. Saga Dawa
Saga Dawa Festival is one of the most famous of the Sikkim festivals. The festival celebrates Lord Buddha’s birthday and is a great day for the people who follow Mahayana Buddhism. Tourists and travelers alike who want to understand the basic philosophies of Buddhism and are looking to acquaint themselves with it on their journey can be a part of this festival and get to see from close what the festival is all about.
The monks of the Mahayana Buddhism light butter lamps on these days in the monasteries. This way they show their obeisance to Lord Buddha who is believed to have enlightened their paths in life.
When: June – July 2019
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7. Tendong Lho Rum Faat
Tendong Lho Rum Faat is one of the most ancient and significant Sikkim festivals The occasion marks the time when the ancestors of the local Lepcha tribe were saved by Tendong Hill from a flash flood lasting 40 days and 40 nights. There are grand festivities over the entire state, with primary rituals and ceremonies happening at Namchi, the home to this sacred hill in Southern Sikkim.
A trek that goes to this hill from Ravangla is the highlight of the festival. If you are planning a vacation to Sikkim, this could be a great opportunity for you to experience this festival and induce some adrenaline rush on your journey.
When: 8th-11th August 2019
8. Indrajatra Festival
The Nepalese community in Sikkim celebrate this festival and there is a huge fanfare during it in the entire state. The festival is named after the Hindu God of rain called ‘Indra’. During the festival, one seeks the blessings of the rain gods in the forms of rain and showers. There are huge chariot processions, dance performances, use of masks and many classical dance performances. This is considered to be the best time to plan a trip to Sikkim and other nearby areas.
When: 12th September, Thursday in 2019
9. Pang Lhabsol
Probably one of the most popular Sikkim festivals, Pang Lhabsol is the festival that commemorates Mt. Kanchenjunga, the guardian deity of Sikkim. It is said that this mountain had been protecting the very soul of this beautiful state. It is quite a vibrant occasion with carnivals, dance performances, warrior dances by the llamas, and the ever-so-delicious Sikkimese cuisine. Travelers can plan their trip accordingly and include this trip onto their long journey.
When: August 26, 2019
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Out of all the Sikkim festivals, this occasion is on an off-beaten track, yet it tells many cultural stories of this beautiful destination. The festival is that of Diwali under the name of ‘Tihar’. The duration of this amazing festival is around five days with each day fixated on something special.
On the first day, crows are worshipped – the symbols of sorrow and sadness. The second day calls for ‘Kukkar Tihar’ when dogs are worshipped and offered garlands and tilak. Each day out of the five honors some of the most significant animals in Hindu mythology. While enjoying a trip to Sikkim, do visit this place.
When: October 25th – 29th 2019
Go on and check out these interesting festivals that are indigenous to this state. A few of them are unique to the state yet are celebrated in other parts of the country with different names. Read through our list of Sikkim festivals that you can become a part of on your journey. If you are someone who loves festivals and vibrant colorful occasions can choose to experience these festivals. Such occasions would give you a peek into the history and culture of this amazing state. Go ahead and book your vacation to Gangtok with TravelTriangle and enjoy the beauty of the amazing festivals in Sikkim.
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