The festivals in Sikkim are part of the culture of Sikkim. The cultural heritage of Sikkim is interwoven with Vajrayana Buddhism, Hinduism and original animist traditions of the Lepchas. Like in any other Himalayan kingdoms life in Sikkim is based on religion. Even the majestic Mount Kanchanjunga plays major role role in the life of Sikkimese.
Monasteries like Pemayangtse (west Sikkim), Tsuklakhang (Gangtok), Enchey ( near Gangtok) and most famous of all Rumtek (23 kms from Gangtok) are the venue for the important Buddhist festivals in Sikkim. The lama dances complete with the fierce masks, the gorgeous brocade costumes the exotic music and chants are strange mixture of music and exorcism. In reality every dance performed in the festivals has meaning and history related to Buddhism and Lamaism. They are performed to recreate legends and myths connected with the birth of Buddhism. It also represents the battle between the good and the evil. Saga Dawa festival is celebrated to commemorate the day to have entered the soul of his mother, attained Buddhahood and also Nirvana. It is an important festival for Mahayana Buddhists Drukpa Tseshi teaching of Lord Buddha. At Enchey monastery every year in December people gather at the monastery to watch the lamas in their elaborate costumes and masks perform mystic dances. Main ritual dance depicts Padmashmbhava in his wrathful mood.
In Sikkim people celebrates three New Year - Sikkimese, Tibetan and Lepchas. To add to the local festivals the government of Sikkim has introduced Tourist Festivals in the month of May that last about a month. The festival includes flower shows for which Sikkim is well known, cultural programme, films etc. The exhibitions have become fun and attraction both for the local and tourist alike. Festival provides opportunities for the visitors to experience the lively atmosphere of various ethnic groups coming together such festivals.
Transportation: From Kathmandu, take the one hour flight to Bhadrapur (the nearest Nepalese airport to Darjeeling), drive to Kakarvitta (Nepal/Indian boarder 34km), to Silguri (36km) and to Darjeeling (77 km, about 2 ½ hrs drive). Darjeeling is also connected by road with Sikkim (120km) and Bhutan (200km). Darjeeling is about 90 km from Bagdogra, the nearest airport, where schedule flights operate from New Delhi, Calcutta and Guwahati The nearest rail heads are Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri (88km) which are connected to Calcutta, New Delhi, Guwahati and other major cities in India.