Location : Phodong and Rumtek Monasteries, Sikkim
The Indian calendar is replete with numerous fairs and festivals. The festivals in India are categorized into two. Some are celebrated by whole India and some are specific to particular regions. Losoong is one of Sikkim’s grand festivals. It is the celebration of the Sikkimese New Year.
Losoong is an extravagance carnival in Sikkim. According to the Tibetan Calendar, the festival falls on the 10th month of every year which is generally the month of December. This year, the festival falls on 14th December 2016. Chaam dance and archery contests are the major attractions. Beyond Bhutias and Lepchas, Losoong is also celebrated grandly by Nepalese, Sikkimese and other tribal communities in Sikkim, Darjeeling and Nepal.
Based on Tibetan Lunar Calendar, Losoong falls on 18th day of the 10th month. Losoong is recognized as the Annual Harvest Festival of the Sikkimese. The celebration falls around the end of the year during December. This is the time that marks the end of harvesting season of the year. The farmers have worked hard and now they spend a few days of leisure and merry making. The excitement of these few days helps to be motivated through the hardships throughout the year.
The Losoong Festival is inspired or better to say it is rather adapted from the traditions and rituals of the Tibetan New Year, Losar. The major attraction of Losoong is the Cham Dance. The Cham Dance is a colorful and lively dance, which is a major part of Tibetan festivals and Buddhist festivals. Preformed only by monks, these holy men play music using traditional instruments and dance wearing elaborate masks and traditional attire.
Cham dance symbolizes an offering to the Gods. The dance not just reflects the festive mood but welcomes the new harvest season. The core concept of the Cham dance is depiction of moral instructions. Dancers dress up as mystical figures as well as Godly personalities. The dance is a kind of exorcism of evil and whoever witnesses the dance is bestowed with a lots of blessings, good health and wealth. The biggest dance events take place in bigger monasteries in Sikkim like Tsuklakhang Palace, Rumtek Monastery, etc.
The New Year celebration begins when the priest offering Chi-Fut, which is a special alcohol to the gods. The offering is followed by burning the effigy of the demon King. Burning the demon represents destroying the evil from the lives of the people.
Similar to most festivals in India, Losoong Festival is incomplete without special delicacies of the respective region. Sikkimese cook special foods. The delicious local made drinks are also a part of the festivities. Monasteries and homes are seen decorated in colorful flags as well as festoons. The bliss of white winters and the burst of colors makes it a wonderful sight to witness.
How to Reach
Almost all the modes of transportations are available to visit Sikkim. In spite of being a hilly state, transportation is comfortable and well connected by air, rail and road.
The close airport to Sikkim is Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal. It is 124 km away from Gangtok.
New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railway station to get to Sikkim. Located in West Bengal, the railhead is 125 km from Gangtok.
The road lifeline of Sikkim is National Highway 31A which connects Gangtok with Siliguri. This picturesque highway has regular bus service, adequate number of private buses, jeeps and taxis.
If you are planning to attend the Losoong Festival, check out accommodations from our listed collection. Luxury hotels, boutique hotels, budget lodgings, all kinds of hotels in Sikkim and Gangtok are available for bookings. Explore more of Sikkim, you may want to browse through our collection of tour packages. What you waiting for? Make hassle free travel plans with us and explore the North Eastern frontiers of India.
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