Post-harvest masked-dance festival to ward off evil and bring good fortune in the coming year: The dance (chaam), symbolizing the victory of good over evil are performed at the Tsuk-La-Khang, Phodong and Rumtek monasteries.
The Sikkimese New Year. This Buddhist festival marks the end of the harvest season and is celebrated with great feasting at home. Archery contests are held amidst much feasting and merry making.
Hindu festival commemorating the passing of harsh winter days and welcoming spring. Fairs are held at the confluence of rivers, the most notable one being the 'Jorethang Mela'. On the first day, devout Hindus take a ritual bath at these holy spots.
Religious masked dances
celebrating the end of the Tibetan calendar year and welcoming the new year. Held in the monasteries of Rumtek, Pemayangtse and Phodong two days ahead of Losar.
Though this is the Tibetan New Year, this is apparently is more respected by the Sikkimese society than Losoong. Again, a time for feasting and merry making.
Held at the Tashiding Monastery in West Sikkim, this two-day festival occurs a fortnight after Losar where the abbot of the monastery unveils a pot of holy water that will forecast Sikkim's fortune for the year ahead. Too much or too little water in the pot signifies troubled times. If the water-level is found to be at the center, it signifies peace and prosperity. Some of this water is then diluted with regular water to be distributed among devotees at the festival.
A call to international visitors
to witness Sikkim's rich floral resources commemorated with a flower show at the White Hall.
Also known as the 'Thrice Blessed Day', as it is believed that the Buddha's soul entered his mother's womb, and as an adult he attained enlightenment and passed onto nirvana on this day.
A day of spiritual rededication for Buddhists. In Gangtok for several hours, a never-ending procession that is miles long wends through the streets where
monks and lay Buddhists parade with religious banners, icons and holy books.
Guru Rimpoche Trungkar Tshechu
A great dance drama performed at the Rumtek Monastery enacting the eight manifestations of
Guru Padmasambhava, the Indian sage who was responsible for consolidating
Buddhism in Tibet. He is also revered by the Sikkimese as Guru
Rimpoche, and during his travels he is supposed to have visited
Tendong Lho Rum Faat
A Lepcha festival to mark the celebration of Tendong Hill. According to legend, the hill rose like a horn during the 'great flood' and saved the people.
Unique to Sikkim, this festival is in honour of Khangchendzonga, guardian and protector deity of Sikkim. An important feature of the celebration is the spectacular 'warrior dance' in which swordsmen leap and prance with intricate steps hailing martial war-cries. Introduced during the reign of the third Chogyal Chador Namgyal, it was the monarch who choreographed this drama in order to keep his soldiers 'fit-to-fence' .
Dasain is the main festival of the Hindu Nepalese in Sikkim. This too
signifies the victory of good over evil. The elders of the family bless
the young with 'tika' and gratuities.
Corresponding to the Indian 'festival of lights', Laxmi Puja or Diwali and celebrated
similarly, Nepalese tradition also includes 'Bhai Tika' on the day after,
where sisters offer tika, gifts, and special meals to their brothers.
2008 List of Holidays and Festivals