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Lets To Sikkim

SIKKIM- Festivals

According to the Buddhist calendar with approximate months corresponding to the English calendar, the important festivals are mentioned below :

SAGA DAWA : Full moon on the 4th month, around end of May & early June

DRUKPA TSESHI : 4TH day of the 6th month, around August

PANG LHABSOL : 15th day of the 7th month, around late August – early September

KAGYAT DANCE : 28th & 29th day of 10th month, around December

LOSOONG : Sikkimese New Year, last week of December

LOSAR : Tibetan New Year, around February

DASAIN : Month of Aswin, September-October

MAGHE SANKRANTI : Month of Magh, around January

ENCHEY “CHAMS” : 18th & 19th days of the 11th month, around December-January

RUMTEK “CHAAMS” : Tse-Chu ‘Chaams’- 10th day of the 15th month, around June.

WINTER “ CHAAM” : Gouthor ‘Cham’ – 2 days prior to Losar.

Bumchu Festival (Jan-Feb)

This festival takes place in Tashiding Monastery in west Sikkim, in the month of January-February . During this festival, the pot containing the holy water is opened by the lamas of the monastery. The level of water in the pot foretells the future for the forth coming year. If the water is to the brim, it prophesizes disturbances. If the pot is almost dry it indicates famine and a half full pot foretells a year in which peace and prosperity will prevail. A part of the holy water is distributed among the participants and then the pot is replenished with river water and sealed at the end of the festival to be opened only in next Bumchu festival.

Phang Lhabsol (Aug- Sept)

The unique festival of Phang Lhabsol on the eighth day of the seventh month of the Tibetan calendar venerates Mount. Kanchenjunga as the Bhutia’s gurdian deity. The festival is celebrated with an impressive dance-drama at the Tsuklakhang Palace in Gangtok. The lamas invoke Dzonga (as Mt. Kanchenjunga is known) to protect and look after the people of Sikkim. The war like dance-drama at the royal chapel is a return to the resplendent essence of Buddhism.

Lhabab Dhuechen (End of May or Early June)

This festival symbolizes the descent of Lord Buddha from the heaven. According to legend, Queen Maha Maya, the mother of Lord Buddha, did not live long, took rebirth in Trayastrimsa or the heaven of the thirty gods. After attaining enlightenment, Lord Buddha through spiritual powers came to know about the whereabouts of his mother and at the age of forty one ascended to heaven along with thousands of his followers. Lord Buddha stayed in heave for three months during which he devoured sermon to his mother and other celestial beings Lord Buddha had left behind on eart one of his disciples, Maugalyayana, as his representative. This disciple and other devotees of the Lord could not bear the long separation and longed to hear his preachings. Maugalyayana, who possessed miraculous powers, was exhorted to go up to the heaven to request the Lord to return back to the earth. The gods were not willing to let Lord Buddha return to earth but Maugalyayana suggested that as the earthly beings did not have the powers to visit heaven, the celestial beings could come to the earth to attend his preaching. Lord Buddha finally relented and descended to the earth at a place called Sankasya along a triple ladder that was prepared especially for the occasion by Viswakarma, the god of Machines.

Drukpa Teshi (July-Aug)

This festival falls on the fourth day of the sixth Tibetan month and celebrates Buddha’s first preaching of the four ‘Noble Truths’ to his first five disciples in Deer Park at Sarnath. At Gangtok, it is marked by prayers at the Deer Park and at a secluded place called Muguthang in extreme north Sikkim, followed by yak race.

Saga Dawa (May-June)

Buddha was born, attained Buddhahood and achieved nirvana on Saga Dawa which is celebrated on the full moon day of the fourth month of the Tibetan calendar, a very holy month for the Sikkimese Buddhist. A long procession of monks, local people accompanied with holy books winds its way through the main thoroughfares of Gangtok. Buddhist families gather to touch their heads on the holy books. Also prayers are held in various monasteries throughout this month.

Kagyat Dance (Dec)

Kagyat or Black Hat dance is the demonstration of the triumph of good over evil. It takes place every 28th and 29th day of the tenth month of the Tibetan calendar at the Tsulakhang, Enchey, Phodrang and Phensang monasteries.

Dasain (Oct)

It is the most important festival of the Nepalese Hindu and begins on the first day of the lunar month of Aswain (approximately October). The Nepalese decorate their houses doors and pillars with banana leaves and string of marigold flowers and pray for goddess Durga. On the eight day, or Ashtami, many families sacrifice goats or buffaloes and on the tenth day or Vijaydashami, they visit the elder family members seeking their blessing. During the festival, all Nepalese, both young and old smear each others foreheads with a mixture of rice and curd and string marigold garlands around their necks.


The Tibetan New Year, celebrated in inimitable Himalayan fashion with feasting and merrymaking throughout Sikkim. It generally falls around first week of February.


This Bhutia festival marks the end of the harvest season and also end of the Tibetan year. Chaams (religious dances) symbolizing the victory of good over evil are performed at the Tsug Lakhang, Phodong and Rumtek monasteries. Archery competitions are held amidst much feasting and merry making.

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