Celebrations of Losar Festival
Portraying The Real Sikkim
Sikkim is one of the most colorful states in North east India and comes alive during the festival season. As major portion of Sikkim population practices Buddhism, most of the festivals that are celebrated in Sikkim are generally Buddhist Festivals. Though there are Hindu festivals as well, but it is prominent in places that are inhabited by Nepalese who follow Hinduism. During the major festivals, entire Sikkim people comes together to celebrate the moment without any discrimination.
This is the most important festival of all that are there. Saga Dawa is a festival when three auspicious occasions fall on the same day. The day when Lord Buddha was born, the day he achieved enlightenment and the day Lord Buddha passed away attaining Nirvana. It is celebrated on the full moon day of 4th month according to Tibetan calendar. On the day, a magnificent procession is held in the capital city Gangtok. The procession carries holy books containing teachings of Lord Buddha. The grand event starts from Tsuk-La-Khang Monastery and covers all parts of the city. It is the main highlight of the Saga Dawa Festival.
Lhabab Dhuechen is the day that symbolizes the descent of Lord Buddha from the heaven of the 33 gods after visiting his mother. When Lord Buddha was 41 years, he ascended to the heavens using his spiritual powers along with thousands of his followers, to visit his mother. It is said that Lord Buddha stayed in heaven for three months during which he delivered sermons to his mother and other celestial beings. For the devotees, this period of separation from Lord Buddha was unbearable. So one of his devotees who had supernatural powers went to heaven to request Lord Buddha to return back to earth. The Lord then came back to earth to all his devotees and the day was celebrated as Lhabab Dhuechen.
Drukpa Ksheshi is the day when Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon to his five disciples. It is also called as the day when Lord Buddha first turned the Wheel of Dharma. The Lord's first preaching was delivered to his five disciples in the Deer Park in Sarnath. His first preaching contained the four Noble truths. The first is the Noble Truth of suffering. The day falls on the fourth day of the sixth month (Drukpa) according to the Tibetan calendar which falls sometime around July or August every year. The main feature of the festival is a yak race. Then there are prayers held in the Deer park in Gangtok. These prayers are a must attend for any one who wishes for peace and sanctity.
Losar is the New Year of Sikkim celebrated and marked with lot of gaiety and festivity. Falling in the month of February, Losar gives us a complete insight into the culture and traditions of Sikkimese. youngsters perform yak dance on the streets singing songs welcoming the new year and throwing sampa as a way of greeting to all people. One can see celebration starting more than a week before and the electrifying atmosphere lasting even after a week. People indulge themselves in shopping for new clothes and jewelery.
Festivals anywhere are a time for celebration and enjoyment. What you get everywhere is pomp and gala, dance and music in almost all festivals. Many of the festivals in Sikkim too have dance and loud celebrations, but most of them are silent and intriguing. Being a part of such celebrations makes you believe that the best experiences in life is living it peacefully.