Sikkimese New Year

Losoong is the New Year for the people of Sikkim. It generally, falls in the month of December and symbols the end of harvesting season. The tourist attractions of the festival are Chaam dances and archery contests. A traditional stage fight symbolizing conquest of good over evil and passing through the crowds with fire torches are practiced.

Amidst all this, archery contest also takes place. Kagyed dances (monastic dances) also the famous dances which come first the Losoong festival. Sikkim New Year festivities are marked by the well accepted Chaam Dance or Lama Dance. These religious dances create a drama in which men turn out to be gods in attires of mystical symbols. Chaam dance indicates the victory of good over evil and are performed at the most famous Tug Lathing, Phodong and Rumtek monasteries.

Losoong celebration is also famous as Sonam Losoong (Farmers' New Year). It falls on the 18th day of the 10th month of the Tibetan lunar calendar and dots the agricultural New Year when rice and grains are in plenty. People of Sikkim celebrate this day by performing a very famous Chaam dance.They also make offerings to the gods, both in gompas and in their domestic shrines.

Sonam Losoong is more of a confidential affair. People get up before dawn to take bath and wear new clothes. Later, all the family members sit mutually to perform poojas for peace and prosperity. It is considered unpromising to venture into new projects on this day.This festival lasts for 15 days. Another imperative day called Nyempo Guzom falls amidst the festivities of Losoong.