Sikkim Tourism and festival
Sikkim is famous for its lush green vegetation, forest, scenic valleys and majestic mountains, and a range of rich and magnificent cultural heritage and peace loving people, which provide a safe haven for tourists. The State Government supports eco-friendly and pilgrim tourism and accordingly, has provided facilities to enable visitors to enjoy a first-hand experience of the rich heritage and lifestyle of Sikkim. Recognising the potential of adventure tourism, the State government is
setting up a Himalayan Centre for Adventure Tourism at Chemchey Village in South Sikkim.
The premier monastery of Sikkim is Pemayantshe in Pelling. Apart from this, there is Tashiding Monastery in West Sikkim, which is considered the holiest of all the monasteries in Sikkim. The most ancient monastery of Sikkim is in Yuksom, called the Drubdi monastery. It was the personal hermitage of Lhatsun Chenpo (Patron Saint of Sikkim), and was possibly built in 1700 A.D. Some of the other monasteries are Phodong, Phensang, Rumtek, Ngadak, Tolung, Ahlay, Tsuklakhand, Ralong, Lachen, Enchey and others. Of the Hindu temples, the best known is the Thakurbari, in the heart of Gangtok. There is also a holy cave in South district, which has a Shiva Lingam that irradiates the cave where no other light finds its way. There are some important Gurdwaras and Mosques,
chief among them being in Gangtok and Ravangla.
Sakewa (Rai): Sakewa is one of the important festivals of Kirat Rai Community, which is celebrated annually in the month Baisak. The nine day long ceremony starts from the full moon day of Baisak, in which mother earth is worshipped. The Sakewa Puja is usually performed by the Nakchhong (priest) with the help of
mongpas in a open place as community puja.
Mha Puja (Newar):The worship of inner self, Mha Puja, is an important festival of New people. Mha puja is performed for purification, strengthening and understanding of oneself. It also exposes relationship between human and the nature and its cosmos
Dassai (Nepali):The fortnight long festival usually falls in the month of October, in which Goddess Durga is worshipped.
Tyohar : Just after fortnight of celebration of Dassai, Tyohar is celebrated. The day marks the return of Hindu God Ram to his capital after vanquishing Ravana in a bloody battle at Lanka. The day is also observed as Laxmi Puja, the festival of lights. Bhaitika is a unique feature of Tyohar festival in which sisters prays for the betterment and long life of their brothers.
Maghey Sakkranti: Like in other parts of the country, Maghey Sankranti is also observed in the month of January. It is celebrated on the first day of the month of Magh (January) continues for three days: It is one of the holy festivals of Hindus. Huge fairs are organised along the river banks and confluence of the rivers, Jorethang, Saramsa, Rorathang and Triveni are the important places where such fairs are held every year. The rituals are solemnised from dawn at the banks of the rivers, which is indeed a rare spectle to watch.
Sonam Losoong:Sonam Losoong is a New Year celebration of Sikkimese Bhutia, falls on the 18th day of the 10th month of Tibetan Lunar Calendar, when the harvesting season is over. On the occasion pujas are performed for peace and prosperity for the new year. The festival continues for 15 days.. Kagyed dance (Monastic dance) preceds the Lossong festival. Nyempo Guzom, which also falls during Lossong, is considered most inauspicious occasion. And no good works or venture are made during the period.
Namsoong:Namsoong Festival is celebrated by the Lepchas of Sikkim which also coincides with the Sonam Lossong festival of Bhutias. According to Dungkit Karchu (Lepcha Calendar), Namsoong festival begins from 1st day of the "Kurneet Lovo", corresponding to the month of December/January every year. The festival continues for seven days.
Sunwar (Mukhia alias Koinch) Sagoon:This is a minor puja ceremony done twice a year by Natso with Syamboo, incense, Bospati to propitiate the Sunwar gods and spirits of the death ancestors.
Chhengoo: During the puja Poibos invoke Sunwar deities and the spirits of the dead camping temporarily in a monastery after death.
Kash:An expensive worship which lasts for three days.
Geel:This is a greatest and most puja ceremony of f Sunwars which requires sacrificing 360 birds and animals.
Tamu Lochar (Gurung):Tamu Lochar is one of the traditional festivals of the Gurung Community. It marks the beginning of the Gurung New Year which falls on the 15th day of Pusa, according Vikram Sambat and 30th December in English Calendar. The festival is celebrated with the family and community as a whole.
Sonam Lochar (Tamang):Sonam Lochar is an important festival of Tamang community. The festival falls in the month January and February (Magha Sukla Pakcha) Spring saeason. Like other communities, the Tamangs also celebrate their festival with great joy and religious fervor which lasts for five to fifteen days from place to place.
Barahimzong (Mangar):Barahimizong is observed on the fifth day of Mangar Purnima. In Mangar language Barahi means God, Minaat or Mi means worship or prayer and 'Zong' means fort. The Barahimizong has been named affter the day of Mangar worship their forefathers or Kul DevtaasL
Losar (Tibetan New Year) Accoding to the Tibetan lunar calendar the first day of the first month of Tibetan Calendar corresponding with English Calendar the month of February-March.