Sikkim’s natural splendor makes it seem as though all of the fairytales we’ve ever heard were filmed here. Sikkim is blessed with beautiful waterfalls at every turn, a magnificent Himalayan backdrop, vibrant monasteries, and breathtaking glaciers. Sikkim is the epitome of perfection in terms of nature.
Even with all of this perfection, “The Sikkim Festivals” steal the show from Sikkim’s tourist attractions. The Sikkim festivals transport you to a far-off, fantastical universe of animated storytelling.
While Losoong Festival gets the title of being the most well-known Sikkim Festival, the list of festivals doesn’t entirely end there. Each year, Sikkim’s well-known festivals attract a large number of tourists.
12 Sikkim Festivals Are Known
With a population of seven lac people and a multi-cultural community, Sikkim never goes a month without celebrating a holiday. The following are the 12 Sikkim festivals you should be aware of:
1. Lasoong or Sikkimese New Year
According to the Tibetan calendar, Sikkim welcomes the new year with this event. Four days of festivities honor the farmers’ abundant post-harvest time. Similar to Baisakhi in Northern India, it’s a gathering of family and friends that heightens the festive mood.
The largest name among the Sikkim festivals is celebrated with tremendous fanfare and display, with dance serving as the main event and a means of expressing joy. Chaam, or masked dance dramas, is a genre where you can see the Lamas dance.
DATE: 13th December 2023
2. International Flowers Festival
Looking at countless varieties of fragrant flowers is the most eye-pleasing activity there is. This yearly spectacular is held in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, and one of the greatest places to visit in Sikkim. Each year in May, they planned a multicolored festival that draws a huge crowd of visitors and residents. The flower display is followed by a food festival where regional specialties are offered and enjoyed.
DATE: 24, 25, and 26 February 2023
3. Pang Lhabsol
Every community in Tibet observes a specific festival on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. The day honors the magnificent Mount Khangchendzonga, which is revered as Sikkim’s savior. According to mythology, the guardian deity led the former head of Buddhism to a secret valley filled with rice plantations called Demajong.
This show is worth taking in because it includes large street processions and Chaams, which are masked dances. As everyone prays together at Pang Lhabsol to keep conserving the state that produces rice, the day also fosters harmony among all the communities.
DATE: 31st August 2023
4. Tendong Lho Rum Faat
One of Sikkim’s oldest celebrations, it holds a lot of significance for the Lepcha people. This event highlights the significance of Mount Tendong, which is south of Sikkim. The Lepcha community was shielded from major floods, according to folklore, by this mountain. This three-day Thanksgiving celebration features a variety of cultural performances, displays costumes, ornaments, and meals made by Lepchas in the old ways.
DATE: 8 August 2023
Have you ever made a future prediction with a pot of water? No? Around January, come and take part in this rite in Sikkim. The holy water (Chu) is poured into a pot (Bum) once a year. It is opened by the Lama at Tashiding Monastery and given to the followers.
It is believed that the water’s level foretells the future year’s success. This lavish event is celebrated with great fervor and affection.
DATE: 6-7th March 2023
6. Drupka Teshi
It is one of the most famous festivals in Sikkim that celebrates Lord Buddha’s teaching of 4 noble truths to his first five disciples in Sarnath, at a deer park.
It is observed on the 4th day (Teshi) of the 6th month (Drupka) of the Tibetan calendar.
Lord Buddha is a revered deity in Sikkim, and people seek blessings and happiness on this day. You can see monasteries filled with devotees on this day. In a nutshell, the four noble truths are:
- Origin of suffering
- Termination of suffering or realization of self
- The eight-fold path to Nirvana
DATE: 21 June 2023
The Tibetan New Year falls on this day, which is another opportunity for celebrations. Losar, which honors the soil and the harvest like the majority of Sikkim’s festivals, falls in late winter or early spring, or about February.
The main event is the Rumtek monastery’s Chaam festival, which takes place two days before Losar. To watch it is just a pleasure.
DATE: 21 Feb, 2023 – Thu, 23 Feb, 2023
8. Saga Dawa
This day commemorates the three eras of Lord Buddha’s life and is also known as the Triple Blessed Festival. A must-attend event in your Sikkim tour itinerary is this festival. For Sikkimese Buddhists in general, and the Mahayana group in particular, it is considered a lucky month.
To honor Gautama Buddha’s three stages—his birth, enlightenment, and attainment of Moksha—devotees throng to the monasteries to offer prayers and special butter lamps.
When the rest of India celebrates Budh Poornima on the full moon day of the fourth month in the Buddhist lunar calendar, Budh Poornima is also observed. The celebration involves people bowing and carrying holy books and statues of the Lord while monks dance and play music.
DATE: May 20, 2023, to June 18, 2023.
9. Dashain (Durga Pooja)
It is one of the major celebrations for the Sikkim-based Hindu Nepalese community. The ninth day of Dassin corresponds to the ninth day of Navratri and the tenth day of Dusshera in India.
The elders of the home bestow their blessings on the younger members of the family in an atmosphere of jubilation that permeates the entire state.
The following day, to mark the conclusion of Dashain, enormous statues of the Goddess Durga were carried in a parade and immersed in sacred rivers. You will be surrounded by a certain charm as a result of taking part in this festival.
DATE: October 20, 2023 – October 24, 2023
10. Guru Rimpoche’s Thunkar Tshechu
By the Tibetan calendar, Guru Padmasambhava’s festival and birth anniversary are observed on the tenth day of the fifth month. A celebration of the life and times of the great teacher, also known as Guru Rimpoche—the father of Tibetan Buddhism—brings the Chaams to Rumtek monastery.
The Rumtek monastery celebrates this ceremony with tremendous fervor, drawing hundreds of tourists and followers.
DATE: July-August every year
11. Mangan Music Festival
This music festival in Sikkim must be known if you’re looking for a unique celebration there. A three-day celebration of food, music, and dance can be a treasured memory at Mangan.
This festival offers you the chance to experience various music bands from the surrounding areas at a dizzying height of 3456 meters, against a backdrop of a clear sky and snow-covered mountains.
DATE: 30th Sept
12. Tihar (Deepavali)
With great fervor and joy, Sikkim commemorates one of the most important festivals observed throughout India. Diwali or Deepavali is celebrated in Sikkim as Tihar. During this festival of lights, the entire state is aglow with sparkling lights and vibrant gleams. The Sikkim festival is notable for its celebration of animal life, which is both original and moving.
The first day of the five-day fiesta honors and worships the Hindu mythological animal that represents grief, the crow, followed by the next two days by Kukkar (dogs), and so on. Your heart will be drawn to this region of spiritual appeal if you participate in this celebration.
DATE: 10th- 14th Nov 2023