• Sikkim: Experience permaculture & rural himalayan life in India's organic state
• Bhutan: honouring & preserving cultural heritage, traditional architecture and native knowledge
• Northeast India: Experiencing amazing natural wonders & cultural diversity between Myanmar & Tibet

Festivals of Sikkim

NAME & DESCRIPTION OF FESTIVAL DATE
Western Calendar Tibetan Calendar
LOSOONG
This festival marks the end of harvest season and is a festival of thanksgiving celebrated by the Lepcha and the Bhutia community. Mask dances are held at Tshuklakhang (Gangtok), Phodong and Rumtek. The dance symbolizes victory of the good over the evil spirits. Archery competitions are also held amidst feasting and merry making.
25.01.2020 1st - 5th day of the 11th month
NYNGMA GUTOR CHAAM / MASK-DANCES / MONASTIC FESTIVAL
"Gutor" means "House Cleaning Day". As per Tibetan and Sikkim custom all negativity is expelled while good energies are being invited and the New Year is being welcomed. The dances sympolize good over evil. Mask dances in the Nyngma-monasteries Enchey, Tshuklakhang, Labrang and in old Rumtek monastery
20.12. - 21.12.2020 28th – 29th day of the 11th month
GUTOR CHAAM / DRAG DMAR CHAAM / MASK DANCES
Spectacular mask dances mark the conclusion of Losar (Tibetan New Year). Lamas dress up as Mahakala and Guru Drag-dmar in colourful costumes for the dance. Pilgrims from all parts of Sikkim visit Pemayangtse monastery to witness this festival. There are 108 monks in this monastery and they are identified by the red hats that they wear. Mask dances are performed on the first two days and a large embroidered scroll is displayed on the last day of the ceremony.Fireworks display is also a part of the concluding function, symbolizing driving away of evil spirits.
25.01.2020 27th – 29th day of the 12th month
LOSAR
Losar is the Tibetan New Year. Losar is marked with gaiety, festivity, feasting and merrymaking at home.
24.02.2020 30th day of the  12th month
SAGA DAWA
This is considered a triple blessed festival and one of the holiest for the Mahayana Buddhists. Three important events in the life of Buddha are celebrated: His birth, Enlightenment and his death or attaining of Nirvana. Ceremonies are held in monasteries all over Sikkim. Devotees visit them to worship and offer butter lamps. In Gangtok the monks carry the Holy Books of the Lord Buddha from the royal Tsuk-La-Khang monastery around town in a large procession.
05.06.2020 15th day of the  4th month = full moon
DRUKPA TSHESHI / TSHECHU
On this day the Buddha preached his first sermon of four Noble Truths to his five disciples at Sarnath. Ceremonies in all monasteries. In Gangtok prayers are held at Deer Park and in Muguthang in the extreme North of Sikkim a traditional horse race takes place.
24.07.2020 4th day of the 6th month
GURU RIMPOCHE THRUNGHAR TSHECHU CHAAM
This day marks the birthday of Guru Rimpoche Padmasambhava. Spectacular black hat dances are performed. Ceremonies in all monasteries. In Gangtok procession with  display of Padmasambhava-Statue and holy scripts Of the royal Tshuklakhang monastery. In the evening dramas and concerts in celebration of Guru Rimpoche’s life are held.
29.07.2020 10th day of the 6th month
TENDONG LHO RUM FAAT
The Lepcha’s festival of thanksgiving in honor of their sacred mountain Tendong. According to the legend, the hill had risen like a horn during a great flood to save the Lepchas. Ceremonies at Tendong, Nampik (Dzongu) Kabi and Gangtok are performed by Bongthings (Shamans). Merrymaking by the Lepcahs at the junction of Tista and Rangit.

08.08.2020

08.08.2021

Yearly on 8th of August
PHANG LHABSOL
This is a unique festival of Sikkim. It was introduced by the third king of Sikkim, Chakdor Namgyal. Mount Kangchendzonga’s deity is worshipped on this day for its unifying power. This festival is also in honour of the brotherhood that was signed between the Lepchas and Bhutias – and the local deities that were also invited to witness the occasion. Mask-dances and ceremonies in the monasteries Tshuklakhang (Gangtok), Pemayangtse (Pelling), Ralang; Cermonies in the monasteries Rabong, Phodong und Tashiding. At Tshuklakhang monastery on this day, the guardian deity is portrayed by masked Lama dances as a fiery red-faced deity with a crown of five skulls, riding a snow lion. The monks also perform the Pang-Toed dance and spectacular Warrior Dance. At Gangtok folk songs and dances are also performed. One week prior to Pang Lhabsol prayers for peace and prosperity are conducted by the lamas of Pemayangtse at the royal temple of Chuklakhang, Gangtok.
02.09.2020 15th day of the 7th month
DASAIN / DASHIN / DURGA PUJA
The Dasain festival is the main festival of the Hindu Nepalese in Sikkim. This festival signifies the victory of good over evil. Hindus pay tribute to the highest goddess Durga. Effigies of Durga are shown in Hindu-temples. Ceremonies are held and the elders of the family apply “tika”-marks with red powder or died rice on the forehead of the young, blessing them.
26.10. - 30.10.2020 Hindu Calendar: 10th day of the month of Ashwin
LHABAB DUECHEN
This festival symbolises the descent of Buddha from the heaven of the 33 gods after visiting his mother. Sikkimese also celebrate the anniversary of the brotherhood-treaty between the Lepchas and the Bhutias . Ceremonies in all monasteries, also at Kabi.
07.11.2020 22nd day of the 9th month
DIWALI / LAXMI PUJA / TIHAAR
Festival of Lights is celebrated in Sikkim, corresponding to the Indian Diwali. Display of Laxmi effigies in Hindu temples; children play with firecrackers; in the evening fireworks and decoration of houses with oil lamps. Hindus decorate their homes with oil lamps and welcome Laxmi, the goddess of wealth to enter their houses. The festival is also accompanied by traditional carolling called Deusi and Bhailo.
16.11. - 18.11.2020 Hindu Calendar: 3 weeks after Dasain in month of Kartik
KAGYED CHAMS / BLACK HAT DANCE
This dance symbolizes the destruction of the evil forces and the prevailing of peace and prosperity in Sikkim. This dance symbolizes the destruction of evil forces and the prevailing of peace and prosperity. This is also symbolized by the burning of sculptures that symbolize the evil. A new prosperous and peaceful year is invited. Mask dances at the monasteries Lingdum (Ranka), old Rumtek, Enchey, Ralang, Tashiding, Pemayangtse and Phodong. In this dance, various themes from the Buddhist mythology are enacted and it culminates with the burning of effigies made of flour, wood and paper.
  28th & 29th day of the 10th month
DRAG-DMAR CHAAM / MASK DANCE
The dance-performers carry beautiful costumes and masks. Guru Rimpoche Padmasambhava is shown here in his fearsome manifestation. Mask dances at Enchey Monastery, Gangtok.
  18th & 19th day of the 11th month

Information provided without guarantee. Monastic festivals-dates can be changed or cancelled short of notice. 

Keywords used in this page Tags: festivals, religious, buddhist ceremonies, calendar, sikkim, himalayan, tibetan
All rights reserved [Sikkim.ch].