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The biggest festivals

Festivals of Sikkim


Festival calendar of Sikkim

There is always a reason to celebrate

In Buddhist tradition, the festivals and holidays in Sikkim are mainly based on the lunar cycle. The “Bumchu” festival, which predicts good fortune in the coming year, is particularly interesting to visit. Important events in the life of Buddha are celebrated on the 15th day of the fourth month, the day is considered to be three times blessed and ceremonies are held everywhere. Every year on August 8, the indigenous people of Sikkim celebrate the “Tendong Lho rum faat” festival and thank Mount Tendong for saving their people during the great flood. At the end of August/beginning of September, the Buddhists honour their sacred mountain, Mt Kanchenjunga.

FESTIVAL

DATE*

Western calendar

(Gregorian)

Tibetan calendar*

 

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

15th day of the 11th month

LACHEN CHAM

Mask-dances are performed at Lachen monastery.

18th – 19th day of the 11th month.

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

30th day of the 11th month

LOSOONG / SONAM LOSAR
This thanksgiving-festival marks the end of the harvest season and is celebrated by the Lepcha- and Bhutia community.

Mask-dances (Cham) are held at monasteries in Gangtok (Tshuklakhang), Phodong and Rumtek. The dances symbolize victory of good over the evil spirits.

Archery competitions also take place amidst feasting and merry making.

Main day:

22.01.2023

12.01.2024

1st day of the 12th month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

8th day of the 12th month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

15th day of the 12th month

GUTOR CHAM RUMTEK & PEMAYANGTSE

“Gutor” is “house cleaning day” according to Tibetan and Sikkim custom: The negativity is expelled and good influences are invited to welcome the New Year. Dances symbolize the expulsion of the evil spirit and invite the good spirits into the New Year. Essentially, the victory of good over evil is being symbolized. Spectacular mask-dances (Chaams)  are held in monasteries of Rumtek and Pemayangtse..

At Pemayangtse the festival is referred to as “Drag-Dmar Chaam”. Pilgrims visit to witness mask-dances performed during the fist two days. On the last day, a giant embroidered Buddha-scroll (Thankga)  is displayed. Fireworks to drive away eveil spirits conclude the function.

21. 02. – 22.02.2023

09.02-

10.02.2024

Rumtek Cham:

22.02.2023

10.02.2024

28th – 29th day of the 12th month 

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

22.03.2023

30th day of the 12th month

LOSAR / TIBETAN NEW YEAR

The Tibetan New Years Day is celebrated at home.

10.02.2024

1st day of the 1st month

Buddhist auspicious days – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

24.02. – 09.03.2023

1st to 15th day of the 1st month

BUMCHU

Ceremonies & blessings at the Tashiding monastery in West-Sikkim. The ceremony begins in the full moonnight. “Bumchu” is holy water that is kept throughout the year in a vessel. The level and condition of the water predicts about happiness in the coming year. It is opened by the lamas of the  monastery every year during the Bumchu ceremony and interpreted. Part of water is being distributed amongst the assembled faithful. After the ceremony, the vessel is filled up with water and sealed up until the following year.

07.03.2023

24.02.2024

15th day

of the 1st month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

30 th day of the 1st month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

8 th day of the 2nd  month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

15th day of the  2nd month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

30 th day of the 2 nd month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

8 th day of the 3 rd month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

15 th day of the 3 rd month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

30 th day of the 3 rd month

Buddhist auspicious days – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed by the monchs in monasteries

It is considered especially powerful during this time to perform wholesome deeds such as generosity (Dana), virtue (Sila) and meditation (Bhavana)

04.06.2023

23.05.2024

8 th – 15 th day of the 5th month

SAGA DAWA DUECHEN – TRIPLE AUSPICIOUS DAY
On this fullmoon-day occurred in different years important events in the life of the Buddha: birth, enlightenment, unification in Nirvana. That is why this day is considered especially auspicious and triple-blessed.

04.06.2023

23.05.2024

15th day of the 5th month

DRUKPA TSHESHI / TSHECHU
After the Buddha’s enlightenment, he held back in silence for several weeks. Encouraged by Indra and Brahma, he eventually taught the four noble truths in Sarnath to his first five disciples. Ceremonies in all the monasteries of Sikkim are organized. In Muguthang, in the extreme north, traditional horse races take place.

21.07.2023

09.07.2024

4th day

of the 6th month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

8th day of the 6th month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

15th day of the 6th month

GURU RIMPOCHE THRUNGHAR TSHECHU CHAAM
Birthday of Guru Rimpoche Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. Spectacular “Black Hat” dances are performed in honor of the birthday of the Guru. According to Tibetan Buddhism Guru Rumpoche Padmasambhava’s birthday signifies the reincarantion of the historical Buddha Shakaymuni.

Ceremonies take place in all the monasteries of Sikkim. In Gangtok a procession with display of a statue of Guru Padmasambhava and holy scriptures  takes place, from the royal monastery Tshuklakhang throughout Gangtok. In the evening dramas and concerts on the life of Guru Padmasambhava are performed.

28.07.2023

16.07.2024

10th day of the 6th month

TENDONG LHO RUM FAAT
Thanksgiving festival of the Lepchas in honor of the mountain Tendong. According legend, this mountain is said to have saved people during a time when the earth was flooded. Bongthings (shamans) perform shamanistic ceremonies. Ceremonies take place on Tendong mountain, at Kabi Long Chok and in Gangtok.

08.08.2023

08.08.2024

Yearly on August 8th

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

30th day of the 6th month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

8th day of the 7th month

PANG LHABSOL – OFFERING TO ALL PROTECTORS
This festival is unique in Sikkim and was introduced by the third king of Sikkim. The protecting diety, Mt.Khangchedzonga is revered for his unifying forces. Singing & folkdance takes place in Gangtok. One week prior, prayers for wealth and peace by the Lamas of Pemayangtse at the royal monastery Chuklakhang, Gangtok are offered. Mask dances and ceremonies take place in the monasteries Tshuklakhang, Pemayangtse, Ralang; Ceremonies in the monasteries Rabong, Phodong and Tashiding.

31.08.2023

18.09.2024

15th day of the 7th month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

30th day of the 7th month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

8th day of the 8th month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

15th day of the 8th month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

30th day of the 8th month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

8th day of the 9th month

DASAIN / DASHIN / DURGA PUJA
Hindus give homage to the supreme goddess Durga. Family members receive a “Tika” (a mark with red powder) on the forehead. Display of the Goddess Durga in Hindu temples.

21.10. – 24.10.2023

14.10.-

18.10.2024

Hindu calendar:

10th day of the month of Ashwin

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

15th day of the 9th month

LHABAB DUECHEN – BUDDHA’S RETURN FROM DEVA-LAND
Symbolizes the return of the Buddha from the kingdom of the 33 gods. Sikkimese celebrate the anniversary of the brotherhood between the Lepchas and the Bhutias with ceremonies at Kabi Long Chok. Ceremonies in all the monasteries. No mask-dances.

04.11.2023

22.11.2024

22nd day of the 9th month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

30th day of the 9th month

DIWALI / LAXMI PUJA / TIHAR – HINDU FESTIVAL OF LIGHT

Hindus decorate their homes with oil-lamps in order to welcome Laxmi, the goddess of wealth into their homes. Display of the goddess Laxmi in Hindu temples; children have fun with fire crackers; at night display of lots of fireworks.

13.11. –  15.11.2023

O1.11-

03.11.2024

Hindu calendar:

3 weeks after Dasain in the month of Kartik

Paragliding Festival– just nearby Bamboo Retreat Hotel in Ranka

 Best time is Sep to December.

Couldn’t get any response for Paragliding festival .

 

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

8th day of the 10th month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

15th day of the 10th month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

30th day of the 10th month

KAGYED CHAMS / BLACK HAT DANCE AT RUMTEK MONASTERY
Being celebrated is the destruction of evil by the burning of  effigies / sculptures. A new and promising year is being invited. Masked-dances (Chaams) are performed in the monasteries of Lingdum in Ranka, old Rumtek, Enchey in Gangtok, Ralang, Tashiding, Pemayangtse and Phodong. Ceremonies and festivals of the Lepchas take place on Tendong Hill, in Nampik (Dzongu) and at the confluence of Tista & Rangit.

11.12.2023

29.12.2024

28th& 29th day

of the 10th month.

Main day is on the 29th day.

NYNGMA GUTOR CHAAM / NYEMPA GUZOM

This festival is celebrated within the Monasteries of Sikkim. Common people visit and offer gifts of fruits, sweets and even donations and pray for the goodwill of their family and beloved ones.

6th – 7th day of the 11th month

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

8th day of the 11th month

Loosong Namsoong Festival

13.12. –

17.12.2023

31.12-

04.01.2024

Buddhist auspicious day – ceremonies (Pujas) are performed in monasteries

15th day of the 11th month

*All information without guarantee / Tibetan Calendar number of months per Gregorian calendar year vary between 12 – 13.