Nov 15 2016
Sikkim is famous for its flora and fauna, superb natural beauties, mount Kanchenjunga fairs and festivals. Today I will discuss about few winter festivals which celebrated in different parts of Sikkim. X-Mass or Christmas is the main festival along with Red Panda winter festival in Gangtok, Pelling winter Festival in Pelling, Lossong in few areas of east Sikkim and Gangtok, Namsoong festival in North Sikkim etc.
Sikkim one of the best tourist circuits of India and north-east India, number of domestic and foreign tourist visits Sikkim throughout the year. Maximum number of tourists comes to here to prevent the heat of plain land of India including West Bengal and surrounding states during summer. But winter in Sikkim is famous for different fairs and festivals, see below write-up for Sikkim’s festivals in December (winter).
Red Panda Winter Festival, Gangtok
The winter season in Sikkim draws a spectacular image of Mt. Kanchenjunga in its ivory grandeur, providing an alluring background while corpuscular rays pierce through the scudding clouds over the skies, adorning Sikkim perfectly for the cold season.
Red Panda Winter Festival previously known as Sikkim Winter Carnival is organized in the cold months of December/ January annually. Like most festivals, the Red Panda Winter Festival showcased the traditions and culture of the Sikkimese people. The festival integrates the locals as well as the tourists on a typical Himalayan winter with events and activities. From food stalls that serves exquisite and delicious cuisines of various ethnic tribes and communities, to cultural carnival showcasing diverse culture and traditions of Sikkimese people, flower shows, handloom and handicraft exhibitions, adventure sports, photography contests, rock –shows, karaoke and dancing and many more other interactions forms the affair of the festival.
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Pelling Tourism Festival (December)
Khangchendzonga Winter Tourism Festival or Pelling Tourism Festival in Pelling is one of the most popular a weeklong program of Sikkim as well as in tourists across the globe. Tourists can enjoy magnificent views of the mountains including Mt. Kanchenjunga (3rd highest mountain in the world). There are numerous tourist spots in and around Pelling .A weeklong festival includes cultural extravaganza, sale of local handicrafts, handlooms and local cuisine. All major attractions of this festival are paragliding, marathon, mountain biking, cultural folk dances competition, mass Christmas competition, helicopter joy ride etc. Officially the festival continues from 25th December to 29 December.
Loosong festival Phodong and Rumtek Monasteries, Sikkim
Lossong celebrated all over Sikkim marks the end of the harvest season at the end of the 10th month of the Tibetan calendar. Taking cue from a good harvest and praying for even better prospects for the next crop, the festival is marked by religious masked dances in Enchey Monastery. The dances symbolize the exorcizing of the evil spirits and the welcoming of the good spirits for the New Year. Lossong has now become an important festival where visitors from all over the world can get to see the local sporting events like archery, climbing of greased pole.
Local cuisine, handicrafts, floriculture and cultural programs are some of the added attractions during the festival. The festival is organized by Tribal Youth Association of Gangtok.
Christmas at Gangtok
Christmas is celebrated with much fun along with the rest of the world. People visit different Churches in Gangtok to seek blessings. Gangtok wears festive look during the month of December since Christmas fall in this month. Unique feature of Sikkimese people is that every one celebrates & enjoys all the festival with great pomp and show. M.G. Marg in Gangtok is the most happening place. It is wonderfully decorated with lights, candles and Christmas trees. You can see the arrangements till New Year and even beyond.
Namprikdang Namsoong, Dzongu, North Sikkim
Namsoong is celebrated to welcome the good spirits for the New Year. Namsoong has now become an important festival where visitors from all over the world can get to see the local sporting events like archery, pole climbing etc
Local cuisine, handicrafts, floriculture and cultural programs are some of the added attractions during the festival.