The Sikkim festivals are celebrated with a lot of pomp and show and as per the Buddhist calendar. Throughout all these festivals the citizens of Sikkim indulge in vibrant and lively dances and music. Chaam, one of the most fascinating type of ritual dance performed by the Lamas, which involves brightly colored masks and fascinating musical instruments and takes place at the different monasteries across Sikkim while these festivals are on. Some of the most popular festivals, notable in Sikkim are Losoong, Drupka Teshi, Bumchu, Saga Dawa, Dassin and Phang Lhabsol.
Saga Dawa :
Saga Dawa is an amazing festival that is triple blessed. This is a very sacred Buddhist festival, especially for the Mahayana Buddhists. On this particular day the Buddhists visit the monasteries, offer the prayers and butter lamps as they were the three significant events associated with the existence of Buddha which are celebrated at this event. These proceedings are the Lord Buddha's birth, Enlightenment of Lord Buddha and passing away of the Lord Buddha or his attaining Nirvana. The festival takes place on the full moon day in the 4th month of the Buddhist Calender at the end of May and the beginning of June. This festival takes place in the beautiful city of Gangtok.
Drupka Teshi :
Another great festival celebrated by the Buddhists is the Drukpa Teshi festival. The festival takes place on the day the Buddha sermonized his first oration of four Noble Truths to the 5 disciples in Sarnath at the famous deer park.
Phang Lhabsol :
Phang Lhabsol is another matchless festival of Sikkim which became famous during the reign of the third ruler of Sikkim, Chakdor Namgyal. During this festival the Mount Kanchendzonga is shown respect and devotion for its uniting powers.
In January at the Tashiding monastery, the Bumchu festival is renowned in the West Sikkim. All Through this festival, the pot that is filled with the sacred water is put open by the Lamas present in the monastery. During the entire process, a small fraction of the holy water is distributed among the disciples and the pot is refilled with water and conserved, when the festival is over and is opened at the time of the next Bumchu.
Tibetan New Year, Losar is is marked with immense joviality, joy, extensive meals and merriment. It usually falls in the February's first.
The Dasain festival takes place few weeks before the Losoong festival.This celebration signify the triumph of good over evil. The older people in the family apply tika on the young and give them their blessings.
As the harvest season ends,the Losoong festival is celebrated in the tenth month as per the Tibetan Year in the rustic Sikkim. During this festival, the Chaam dances by the locals are performed. All these festivities take place at the Phodong monastery, Tsu-La-Khang monastery, and Rumtek monastery. Archery contest is also held along with feasting and other celebrations.
The Tihaar festival is another important festival that is celebrated as the Festival of Lights in the state of Sikkim which is somewhat like Diwali.