Jan – Feb

Maghey Sakkranti

Like In Other Parts Of The Country, Maghey Sankranti Is Also Observed In The Month Of January. It Is Celebrated On The First Day Of The Month Of Magh (January) Continues For Three Days: It Is One Of The Holy Festivals Of Hindus. Huge Fairs Are Organised Along The River Banks And Confluence Of The Rivers, Jorethang, Saramsa, Rorathang And Triveni Are The Important Places Where Such Fairs Are Held Every Year. The Rituals Are Solemnised From Dawn At The Banks Of The Rivers, Which Is Indeed A Rare Spectle To Watch.

Sonam Lochar (Tamang)

Sonam Lochar Is An Important Festival Of Tamang Community. The Festival Falls In The Month January And February (Magha Sukla Pakcha) Spring Season. Like Other Communities, The Tamangs Also Celebrate Their Festival With Great Joy And Religious Fervor Which Lasts For Five To Fifteen Days From Place To Place.

Losar (Tibetan New Year)

Accoding To The Tibetan Lunar Calendar The First Day Of The First Month Of Tibetan Calendar Corresponding With English Calendar The Month Of February-March. They Offer Prayers And Welcome The New Year

March – April

Chaite Dassain/ Ram Nawami

This Religious Festival Is Usually Observed In The Month March. The Day Signifies The Birth Of Lord Rama.


Bhumchu Festival, Which Is Linked By An Ancient Legend To Guru Padmasambhava, Is About A Divine Vase Filled With Holy Water Kept In The Monastery, Which Is Opened For Public Display And Worship Every Year On The Night Before The Full Moon Day In The First Month Of Tibetan Calendar.

Bhumchu (Bhum=Pot; Chu=Water) Is A Buddhist Festival Celebrated To Predict The Future. In This Vase, Water Of Rathong Chhu Is Stored For A Year And Kept In The Tashiding Monastery. It Is Opened During The Festival By The Lamas Who Inspect The Water Level And Hence It Is Called The Festival Of Holy Water. The Belief Is That Alteration In The Quantity And Quality Of The Water Stored In The Vase Over A Year Would Indicate The Fortune Of Sikkim And Its People In The Following Year. If It Is Filled To The Brim (Which Is Interpreted As A Measure Of Increase By 21 Cups), The Following Year Will Be Prosperous. If It Is Empty, Famine Will Follow, And If It Is Half-Filled Also A Prosperous Year Is Predicted. If The Water Is Polluted With Dust It Is Interpreted As A Sign Of Strife And Clash. Once Inspected And The Bhumchu Festival Is Concluded, The Lamas Fill The Vase With Fresh Water From The River And Seal It For The Opening In The Following Year.

The Festival Falls On The 15th Day Full Moon Day Of The First Tibetan Month Or Hindu Month Of Magh Corresponding To February/March According To Gregorian Calendar.

May – June

Sakewa (Rai)

Sakewa Is One Of The Important Festivals Of Kirat Rai Community, Which Is Celebrated Annually In The Month Baisak. The Nine Day Long Ceremony Starts From The Full Moon Day Of Baisak, In Which Mother Earth Is Worshipped. The Sakewa Puja Is Usually Performed By The Nakchhong (Priest) With The Help Of Mongpas In A Open Place As Community Puja.

Saga Dawa

Saga Dawa Or The Triple Blessed Festival Is An Auspicious Month For The Sikkimese Buddhists With Prayers Held Throughout The Month In Various Monasteries. On The Full Moon Of This 4th Month Of The Tibetan Calendar [Celebrated As Buddha Purnima In The Rest Of India] Is The Main Celebration.

It Is Believed That On This Day The Buddha Was Born, Attained Enlightenment And Achieved Nirvana. A Colorful Procession Of Monks Playing Musical Instruments And Devotees Carrying Holy Texts, Portraits And Statues Of Lord Buddha Is Taken Out In Gangtok As Well As In Other Towns And Villages Of Sikkim. People Gather In The Streets To Touch Their Heads With The Holy Scriptures In Order To Receive Blessings.

July – August

Drukpa Tshechi

Local Tribal People, Most Of Whom Live A Nomadic Life In The Remote High Altitude Areas Of North Sikkim Join The Buddhists Of The World To Celebrate Drukpa Tseshi, An Important Date In The Buddhist Calendar And Observed On July 15. As Seen In The Picture Taken By Freelance Journalist Khagendra Mani Pradhan, The Tribal People, The Lachengpas And Dokpas Assemble In Their Best Traditional Attire At A Local Monastery Built Of Stones At Lhashar Valley In North Sikkim At An Altitude Of 16,000 Ft To Celebrate Drukpa Tseshi And Pray To Their Guardian Deities Residing In The Surrounding Seven Snow-Capped Peaks.

On This Day, The Tribal People Participate In The Annual Yak Race. The Yaks, As A Mark Of Honor, Are Given The Finest Decoration With A Saddle Of Tibetan Carpets And Silk Scarves Around Their Necks. Drukpa Tseshi Marks The Event When Lord Buddha First Turned The ‘Wheel Of Dharma’ And His First Preaching Of The Four Noble Truths To His First Five Disciples At A Deer Park In Sarnath. Prayers And Lighting Of Butter Lamps Are Held In All The Monasteries Of Sikkim By The Buddhists.

Tendong Lho Rum Faat (Worship Of Mt. Tendong)

It Is One Of The Oldest Festivals Of The Lepchas. According To Donkit Karch (Lepcha Calendar, This Festival Falls On "Purveem Lovo", The Seventh Month Of The Calendar, Corresponding To August 8, Every Year.


Is Known As ‘The Worship Of The Snowy Ranges’ In Earlier Days, This Chaam (Buddhist Religious Dance) Is Performed As An Act Of Veneration To Sikkim’s Protecting Deity, Mount Khangchendzonga. Unique To Sikkim, It Was Introduced By The Eighteenth Century Monarch Chakdor Namgyal, The Third In Line To Rule This Former Himalayan Kingdom. A Brilliant King, He Is Said To Have Choreographed Several Of The Mask Dances Performed Today. It Was His Unusual Interests For Monastic Dances And Tradition That This Extraordinary Performance Portrays Not Only The Supernatural Deities But A Retinue Of Soldiers As Well Since This Pageant Then Had A Temporal Significance Of Equal Importance.

Sept – Oct - Nov

Indrajatra Mha Puja (Newar)

The Worship Of Inner Self, Mha Puja, Is An Important Festival Of New People. Mha Puja Is Performed For Purification, Strengthening And Understanding Of Oneself. It Also Exposes Relationship Between Human And The Nature And Its Cosmos.

Dassai (Nepali)

The Fortnight Long Festival Usually Falls In The Month Of October, In Which Goddess Durga Is Worshipped.


Just After Fortnight Of Celebration Of Dassai, Tyohar Is Celebrated. The Day Marks The Return Of Hindu God Ram To His Capital After Vanquishing Ravana In A Bloody Battle At Lanka. The Day Is Also Observed As Laxmi Puja, The Festival Of Lights. Bhaitika Is A Unique Feature Of Tyohar Festival In Which Sisters Prays For The Betterment And Long Life Of Their Brothers.


Sonam Losoong

Sonam Losoong Is A New Year Celebration Of Sikkimese Bhutia, Falls On The 18th Day Of 10th Month Of Tibetan Lunar Calendar, When The Harvesting Season Is Over. On The Occasion Pujas Are Performed For Peace And Prosperity For The New Year. The Festival Continues For 15 Days.. Kagyed Dance (Monastic Dance) Preceds The Lossong Festival. Nyempo Guzom, Which Also Falls During Lossong, Is Considered Most Inauspicious Occasion. And No Good Works Or Venture Are Made During The Period.


Namsoong Festival Is Celebrated By The Lepchas Of Sikkim Which Also Coincides With The Sonam Lossong Festival Of Bhutias. According To Dungkit Karchu (Lepcha Calendar), Namsoong Festival Begins From 1st Day Of The "Kurneet Lovo", Corresponding To The Month Of December/January Every Year. The Festival Continues For Seven Days.

Tamu Lochar (Gurung)

Tamu Lochar Is One Of The Traditional Festivals Of The Gurung Community. It Marks The Beginning Of The Gurung New Year Which Falls On The 15th Day Of Pusa, According Vikram Sambat And 30th December In English Calendar. The Festival Is Celebrated With The Family And Community As A Whole.

Nyenpa Guzom

On December 15 And 16, Just After The Losoong Ends, People In The State Will Observe The Nyenpa Guzom, A Traditional Practice When People Usually Stay Indoors. The Two Days Of The Nyenpa Guzom Are Considered Inauspicious As It Signifies The Gathering Of ''Nine Bad Omens'' Of Buddhist Culture.

Teyongsi Sirijunga

This Symbolizes The Birth Anniversary Of Teyongsi Sirijunga Who Is Considered As An Incarnate Of Sirijunga, The Limboo King And Investor Of Limboo Script. It Is Observed During Full Moon Day Of Mangsir Month (Mangsirey Purnima) Of Nepali Calendar, Which Is Sometime During December.

Kagyed Dance

It Is Performed On The 28th And 29th Day Of The 10th Month Of The Tibetan Calendar, Around December. This Dance Is Performed Symbolizing The Destruction Of The Evil Forces And Hoping For Peace And Prosperity To Flourish In Every Sikkimese Home. The Dancers Of This Is Extremely Popular Chaam Are Always Monks Who Are Accompanied Liturgical Music And Chanting. The Solemn Nature Of The Dance Is Interspersed With Comic Relief Provided By The Jesters. Kagyed Dances Enact Various Themes From The Buddhist Mythology And Culminate With The Burning Of Effigies Made Of Flour, Wood And Paper.

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