Festivals of Sikkim, Sikkim Festivals List

by Surojit Palmal
Festivals of Sikkim

The northeastern beauty, Sikkim is the small picturesque hamlet that offers unparalleled gorgeousness to its visitors. Being one of the less populated states in India the beauty here is unhindered and untouched. What makes it even more alluring is the way the people here choose to stay. People here do have a vibrant lifestyle and that can be most well explored in their festivals of Sikkim. Furthermore the Sikkim festivals are a beautiful mix of culture and history. People hold their culture close to themselves and that reflects in their way of celebrating as well.

As a travel destination the visitors have explored different sides of Sikkim. But if anyone is interested in delving deep into the cultural aspect of the state then they need to visit the famous festivals of Sikkim. That way you would get a deep insight about the culture, history as well as lifestyle of the people living here. So keep on reading this article as it will mention some of the major festivals of Sikkim here. If you are planning a trip to Sikkim then keep in mind the festivals of Sikkim. Moreover you can plan your trip around these Sikkim festivals to enjoy more of Sikkim.

Festivals of Sikkim

Losoong Festival

This is one of the most important festivals of Sikkim. Basically this festival is the Sikkimese New Year that the people of Sikkim celebrate with a lot of love. It is a festival that coincides with the harvesting time and therefore the farmers take a lot of joy and enjoy this festival with a lot of fervor. The other name of the Losoong festival is Namsong. Furthermore the festival is one of the festivals of Sikkim that is a valued festival in the state. Thousands of tourists also visit here during this time to attend this festival as well. It is the kind of festival which gives an insight about the culture of Sikkim.

Basically this is a festival that was once only confined to the Bhutia community. But with time it started spreading among Lepchas as well as other minor tribes. Today the celebration has also extended to Darjeeling as well as Nepal. Additionally the people here indulge in merry making between family and friends within their social circle. With local competitions, decorations using colorful flags, festoons, the surroundings look beautiful. The festival takes place on the basis of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar. On the 10th lunar month on the 18th day the festival takes place around the month of December. It is a 4 day long festival that is mostly celebrated in monasteries. Monasteries like the Tsuklakhang Palace and Rumtek are major centers of the festivities.

One of the major attractions of this festival is the Cham dance that the Buddhist monks perform. It also marks the beginning of the Tibetan New Year. Other major activities are folk music, acrobat dancing, archery etc. Undoubtedly it is one of the grandest festivals of Sikkim that locals as well as the tourists enjoy and look forward to.

Losar Festival

Losar Festival Sikkim
Image Source : flickr

This is one of the major festivals of Sikkim that holds a lot of importance for the Tibetan Buddhists. It is a festival that marks the beginning of a new harvesting season along with the mark of New Year as well. The Cham mark dance is one of the major attractions of this festival. Along with that the people offer a mixture of roasted barley flour and butter at the altars of their home so that it can bring in prosperity and a good harvesting year. Usually the festival is celebrated around February. On the 29th day of the 12th month according to the Tibetan Lunar calendar the festival takes place. A lot of visitors from around the world specifically visit during this time to attend the festivities.

Houses, streets as well as monasteries get dressed in brighter hues of colours. People wear new clothes and jewelleries and visit each other. One of the major activities here is the youngsters performing the Yak dance on the streets. It is one of the most significant festivals of Sikkim that is very close to the locals as well as tourists as well.

Bhumchu Festival

On the 14th and 15th day of the first month of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar the people of Sikkim celebrate this festival. One of the popular festivals of Sikkim, the Tashiding Monastery in Sikkim celebrates the festival with much zeal and enthusiasm. A Vase Opening ceremony takes place during this festival which is one of the most popular and major attractions. For the lamas this festival is of utmost importance. The lamas therefore also predict the future by looking at the water level of a sacred pot. A large number of tourists also attend this festival to get a greater insight of the cultural ethnicity of the state. It is a 2 day long festival that falls in the month of February or March.


Saga Dewa

Saga Dewa
Image Source : flickr

This is again one of the most famous festivals of Sikkim that the people celebrate here with a lot of passion. It is one of the festivals of Sikkim that will make you understand more about the Buddhist philosophies. With street processions and religious ceremonies this festival is celebrated here. Also the festival is like a visual treat for any person visiting here. Furthermore the celebration of Lord Buddha’s birthday is also one of the reasons for celebrating this festival. Monks of Mahamaya Buddhism are the ones that celebrate the festival with their rituals. They light lamps and pay respect to Lord Buddha who is their master. Also they thank him for enlightening their paths and teaching them the values of life.

Lhabab Duchen Festival

Among the four major Buddhist festivals, this festival is one of them. On the 22nd day of the ninth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar the festival takes place. According to popular beliefs on this auspicious day Lord Buddha descended to earth using a special ladder Lord Viswakarma the God of machines had made. To celebrate the auspicious day the people in Sikkim paint their houses and temples so that they can greet Lord Buddha. Furthermore around many monasteries ladders are painted on rocks to honour the return of Lord Buddha. It is basically a festival where a huge number of pilgrims get involved. Alongside this festival is a festival of spiritual enlightenment for the people of Sikkim.  


Hee Bermiok Festival

This is one of the festivals in Sikkim that is all about fun and merrymaking. However this is one of the newest festivals of Sikkim that was first started in the year 2005. From then, annually the people of Sikkim celebrate this festival. Basically this festival falls around the month of May and is a 4 day long festival. A lot of visitors from different parts of the world visit here to attend the festival. Moreover the people of Sikkim greet the visitors with their special regional offerings of regional delicacies along with local rice wine. Feasting is one of the big parts of this festival as well and the people living here enjoy this a lot too.

Tendong Lho Rum Faat

This is one of the ancient and most significant festivals of Sikkim. During the month of July or August the festival takes place. One of the major highlights of this festival is trekking through the picturesque trails. The tour begins from Ravangla and ends at Tendong Hill. It can be one of the most interesting journeys for nature lovers and bird watchers. Through this festival the cultural and mythological aspect of Sikkim gets highlighted delightfully. For any person who wants to enjoy the verdant beauty of nature, you need to experience this. Through a trail, consisting of sparkling streams and thick forests it can be one of a kind adventure for the trekking enthusiasts.


International Flower Festival

International Flower Festival
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

The department of Sikkim Tourism organizes a month long International Flower Festival in White Hall in Gangtok. Usually the festival takes place in the month of May. You can find diverse species of plants, ferns, garden products, herbal products etc here. Almost around 240 types of trees and ferns are seen here along with more than 600 types of orchids. It is undoubtedly the best floral landscaping nature enthusiasts will find extremely interesting. You can surely plan your visit to Sikkim around this beautiful festival to enjoy the beauty of the location.

Annual Sikkim Paragliding Festival

This is yet another really fun festival of Sikkim. This is one of the festivals of Sikkim that is perfect for adventure enthusiasts. You can enjoy the most exciting experience of paragliding here. Sikkim Tourism in association with the Paragliding Association of India arranges this festival. There are other activities available here as well. These are free flying, tandem flights, cultural programs, spot landing etc. Nothing can beat this festival when it comes to enjoying the beautiful views of Sikkim.

Wrapping Up!

The festivals of Sikkim are perfect occasions to understand the beauty of this state. Along with the gorgeous view of Sikkim that it is popular with, even Sikkim has a cultural side to it. People visiting Sikkim need to explore this side of the state as well. The small yet culturally enriched state of Sikkim holds on to its heritage and culture. So if you are ever planning to visit this gorgeous state then visit around the major festivals of Sikkim. Only then will you be successful in understanding the true beauty of the location. Let me know which of these festivals intrigued you the most. Also tell me if there is any festival that you have ever attended or wish to attend. Plan your trip and enjoy the pleasant vibe and festive spirit.

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