Festival of Sikkim | Losoong
Considered to be among the foremost vital festivals of Sikkim's North-East Indian state, the Festival marks the start of the Sikkimese New Year. It is widely known with great joy and enthusiasm all across the region. The Festival coincides with the top of the harvesting season and provides much-needed happiness and joy to all the farmers who have worked very hard the whole year.
For visitors and travellers seeking an appointment with the unique Sikkimese culture, Losoong undoubtedly makes for an excellent retreat offering them a fantastic show of traditional folk dances, religious rituals & ceremonies. It won't be incorrect to mention that today, Losoong has gained a reputation of being one among the foremost valued festival tour destinations in North Malay Archipelago, getting a footfall of thousands of tourists from across the world per year.
History of the Festival
The losing Festival was confined only to the Bhutia community; gradually, it spread to the Lepchas. Now, it's also celebrated across other minor tribes of Sikkim and Darjeeling, and Nepal. It's one of the foremost significant festivals for the farmers, providing them with a chance to rejoice and celebrate their harvest. Though the merry-making happens privately among relations and friends, there's still a feeling of celebration everywhere in the monasteries and monks gearing up for the celebrations and various local sports competitions; colourful flags and garlands are dotted all around the streets and supply for an exquisite sight sitting against the backdrop of the snowy mountains.
Duration of the Festival
The Tibetan calendar supports the dates of the Losoong Festival, and typically, it falls on the 18th day of the 10th moon, which is typically December. The festivities last for about four days, with cultural events happening in monasteries.
Essential points of the Festival
The traditions and rituals of this Festival have primarily been adapted from another famous festival of Sikkim, Losar, that marks the start of the Tibetan New Year. Cham dances performed by the Buddhist Monks are:
- This Festival's most significant high points.
- Offering a spectacular extravaganza of colourful and vibrant attires.
- Eclectic ethnic music.
- Heart-pounding acrobat movements by the masked dancers.
Archery competitions and a tasty spread of authentic Sikkimese cuisine are additionally a part of the festivities and which is undoubtedly looked forward to by all the visitors and tourists.
The Indian calendar is packed with many fairs and festivals. The festivals celebrated in India are categorized into two. The whole of India celebrates some, and a few are specific to particular regions. Losing is one of Sikkim's grand festivals. It's the celebration of the Sikkimese New Year. Losing is an extravagance carnival in Sikkim. Consistent with the Tibetan Calendar, the Festival falls on the 10th month of each year, usually December. Chaam dance and archery contests are the main attractions. Beyond Bhutias and Lepchas, Losoong is additionally celebrated grandly by Nepalese, Sikkimese, and other tribal communities in Sikkim, Darjeeling, and Nepal.
Based on the Tibetan calendar, Losoong falls on the 18th day of the 10th month. Losing is recognized because of the every year Festival of the harvest of the Sikkimese. The celebration is around the end of the year during December. This is often the time that marks the start of the season harvest of the year. The farmers have worked on the crops, and now they spend a couple of days of leisure and merry-making. The thrill of those few days helps me to be motivated through the hardships throughout the year.
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The Losing Festival is inspired, or better to mention; it's instead adapted from the traditions and rituals of the Tibetan New Year, Losar. The main attraction of Losoong is that the Cham Dance. The Cham Dance may be a colourful and lively dance, which may be a significant part of Tibetan and festivals of the Buddhist religion. The monks perform it only; these holy men play music using traditional instruments and dance wearing elaborate masks and traditional attire.
The dance form cham signifies an offering to the Gods. The dance not only reflects the festivity mood but welcomes the new harvest season. The essential and central concept of the Cham dance is a depiction of ethical instructions. Dancers dress up as mystical figures also as Godly personalities. The dance may be quite an exorcism of evil, and whoever witnesses the dance is bestowed with many blessings, healthiness, and wealth. The most important dance events happen in more enormous monasteries in Sikkim like Tsuklakhang Palace, Rumtek Monastery, etc.
The New Year celebration begins when the priest offers Chi-Fut, unique 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 particular foods. The delicious locally made drinks also are a neighbourhood of the festivities. Monasteries and houses are seen decorated in colourful flags also as festoons. Therefore, the bliss of white winters and the burst of colours make it an exquisite sight to witness.