Sikkim is a popular place to spend vacations for Indians as well as international tourists. Sikkim is famous for its natural beauty, culture, history, and food but apart from that, it is also famous for its vibrant festivals. The spirit and vibe of the local people around this time is high. You can get to know a lot about the spectacular Sikkim festivals and about the rituals, history of Sikkim, and ceremonies that will make your trip memorable and colourful.
As Sikkim is home to beautiful landscapes, glaciers, and flowers it is considered among the top travel destinations to visit. Sikkim has a rich culture and history. These Sikkim festivals can be witnessed if one can visit the place during the time of the festivals.
You can include the dates of these festivals in your itinerary while you are planning your trip. It is the best time to explore their culture while on the vacation.
Here is the list of Sikkim famous festivals that you must attend:
1. Losoong Festival
The list of Sikkim famous festivals starts with Losoong. An important festival of Sikkim because it is the start of Sikkimese New Year. The celebration is done with tremendous joy and zeal. It includes traditional folk dances, rituals, and ceremonies. An occasion to gorge upon the delicious Sikkimese cuisine.
Celebrated by both locals and curious tourists who want to explore the culture of the state and the local traditional ceremonies and folk dances. The Losoong Festival dates vary every year. The day generally falls on the 18th day of the 10th lunar month, which is mostly in the month of December. It is based on the Tibetan Lunar Calendar. Also, it is the season for harvesting for locals. Another reason to double the celebration and exuberance.
For 4 days the festival continues with arrangements for cultural programs at monasteries like Rumtek and Tsuklakhang Palace. It is one of the most popular festivals of Sikkim. The taste of the local cuisines is the specialty of this festival. Don’t miss the Chaam dances at the monasteries.
2. Annual Sikkim Paragliding Festival
One of the best paragliding experience people can ever have in their own life. For this, you have to visit Sikkim during the Annual Sikkim Paragliding Festival which is held in Gangtok. You can enjoy the adventure activities and have fun when the weather is in your favour during October and November months. The valley’s picturesque views is the specialty here.
Next Annual Sikkim Paragliding Festival time: Oct 31 to Nov 3, 2022
3. Hee Bermiok Festival
Hee Bermiok Festival is organized in Sikkim during Summer. Here tourists get a chance to explore the culture and lifestyle of the region closely. This traditional festival displays the indigenous Sikkim culture and its variety of rice. Rice wine and local delicacies are served to the visitors.
Highlights: Getting to witness the Sikkimese culture up close, the feast
4. Mangan Music Festival
Every year in Mangan a three-day music festival is organized. Here you can enjoy the bands that come from all over the region even from other states of northeast India too. The perfect combination of hills, music, and cold weather makes it great and this Sikkim festival will offer a lifetime memory.
It is generally celebrated in the month of December. Even an exhibition and sale of local handicrafts take place. The vibe of the festival uplifts the mood.
Mangan Music Festival time: 12th – 14th December
Highlights: The vibe of the festival, The music of the hills
5. International Flower and Garden Festival
The International Flower and Garden Festival is considered one of the most famous festivals of Sikkim. It begins in the month of May at the White Hall in Gangtok. The event showcases some of the best floral and landscape talent along with a large arrangement of garden retail products from different regions of India.
The International Flower and Garden Festival time: In the month of May
Highlights: The beautiful landscape with colourful flowers, The collection of herbal products
6. Sikkim Summer Festival
Sikkim Summer Festival lasts for a whole month. It includes entertaining cultural shows, white water rafting in Teesta, local Sikkim food festivals, Sikkimese folk dances, display of films on Sikkim tourism, local handicrafts exhibitions, and beautiful flower shows.
Highlights: The water sports and cultural shows, the films on Sikkim tourism
Bhumchu word means a sacred pot of holy water. The festival’s ceremonies and rituals convert it to actuality. This occasion is celebrated with grandeur by the locals. On the first day of the festival, the monks at Tashiding Monastery open the holy pot of water. This is used for predicting the future and generating forecasts for the upcoming year.
During the closing ceremony held on the second day, the pot is re-filled with water from the river nearby which is considered sacred. It is then sealed and kept for opening next year. It’s a perfect time for tourists to gain deep knowledge about Buddhism and its customs and rituals. It is one of the most zealous festivals in Sikkim 2022.
Next Bhumchu festival Sikkim time: March 2023
Highlights: The holy rituals, the first day of the festival
8. Saga Dawa
Saga Dawa Festival is among the most famous festivals of Sikkim. The celebration of Lord Buddha’s birthday is a great day for those people who follow Mahayana Buddhism. Here you can get to know more about the basic philosophies of Buddhism by witnessing the festival Sikkim brings to you.
During the days of the festival, the Mahayana Buddhism monks light glimmering butter lamps in the monasteries. This way they show their respect and love towards Lord Buddha who is believed to have enlightened their paths in life. It is considered one of the best family-friendly festivals in Sikkim 2022.
Saga Dawa Festival timing: In the month of June
Highlights: Chance to understand the basic philosophies of Lord Buddha, the light butter lamps created by the monks
9. Sonam Lhochhar Festival
The Sonam Lhochhar Festival is one of the most famous festivals of Sikkim 2022. It is also spelled as Sonam Lhosar. Celebrated by the Tamang community of Sikkim in India, the festival marks the Tibetan New Year for the community. The rituals are performed with great enthusiasm and the celebrations are full of hype and love.
The local people wear their colourful traditional dresses. The dance is performed by masked men who dance to the rhythmic beats of the Damphu (a traditional small round drum) to get rid of all the negative energies and evil spirits.
You can enjoy the Tamang Folk songs also called ‘Tamang Selo’ with Tamang cuisine served during this time which is absolutely delicious. This festival in Sikkim is also celebrated in Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet.
Sonam Lhochhar Festival timing: Onsets on 2nd February
Highlights: The Damphu dance executed by masked lamas, Tamang Folk songs also called ‘Tamang Selo’
10. Indrajatra Festival
The festival is celebrated by the Nepalese community in Sikkim. A notable fact is that the festival’s name is after Indra who is a Hindu god of rain. One can seek the blessing of God of rain in the form of rain or showers. A big fanfare is arranged in the entire state, that includes chariot processions, classical dance performances, the use of masks, and many more. Considered one of the best ones try not to miss out on this festival in Sikkim.
Indrajatra Festival timing: September 9, 2022
Highlights: The classical dance performances, and the massive chariot processions.
11. Pang Lhabsol
Pang Lhabsol is one of the most popular Sikkim festivals. The festival celebrates the harmony between communities. People believe that Mt. Kanchenjunga (guardian deity) of Sikkim has been protecting the soul of this spectacular state.
The festival is spirited, with carnivals, dance performances, warrior dances by the llamas, and delicious Sikkimese cuisine. Travelers must visit this place and plan their trip accordingly to witness the festivals in Sikkim and make them more memorable.
Pang Lhabsol timing: September 10, 2022
Highlights: The vibrant celebration, and dance of the lamas
Tihar is celebrated as the Diwali festival by the Sikkimese people. You will get to hear a lot about mystical stories from locals of this beautiful place. This festival continues for five days and every day has its own specialty. Out of all the Sikkim festivals, this is unique, the festival involves worshiping animals.
On the first day, crows are worshipped – they are the symbols of sadness. The second day marks Kukkar Tihar, dogs are worshipped and offered garlands and tilak. Every day out of the five days of this Sikkim festival honors some of the most important animals in Hindu mythology. You should definitely witness this famous festival of Sikkim.
Tihar festival in Sikkim: October 22 – 27, 2022
Highlights: The worshipping of animals, the mythical stories from the locals
13. Tendong Lho Rum Faat
Tendong Lho Rum Faat continues to be celebrated for a very long time. It is among the most important Sikkim festivals that marks the time when Tendong Hill saved the local Lepcha tribe’s ancestors from a heavy flood that lasted for 40 days and 40 nights. There are impressive festivities all over the state with main rituals and ceremonies happening at Namchi. This sacred hill is located in Southern Sikkim.
A trek that goes to this hill from Ravangla is the best part of the festival. A perfect vacation spot in Sikkim. The adventure related to this festival is awe-inspiring. The beautiful views of the Ravangla mountains are unforgettable. So, take this opportunity and experience this festival.
Tendong Lho Rum Faat festival: August 8, 2022
Highlights: The adventurous trek of this festival, the beautiful views of the Ravangla mountains
14. Chaite Dashain
Chaite Dashain is considered one of the most important Sikkim festivals. People also call this Small Dashain. Ram Navami is celebrated a day before it in remembrance of Lord Rama’s birth. The months of March to April are the perfect time to visit to enjoy this festival. People also get a chance to have a get-together and enjoy festive meals at the same time. One of the most important religious festivals in Sikkim 2022.
Chaite Dashain timing: March – April
Highlights: The festive meals, the joyous celebrations in the temples
15. Losar festival Sikkim
Losar ranks the highest among the festivals in Sikkim 2022. It is widely popular among the local people. Losar is a Tibetan word that means New Year. It concurs with the end of the harvesting season. The farmers celebrate their hard work and patience. Mostly in Sikkim festivals, celebrations are based on land, harvest, and local communities. With the same energy and passion, this festival is also really special to the Tibetan Buddhists who are living in this gorgeous state.
The ritual includes making a mixture of roasted barley flour and butter and offering it on home altars is important. In short, people pray for a good harvest in the upcoming New Year.
Losar Festival Sikkim: 3rd March 2022
Highlights: The food offering ritual, the energetic celebrations