Sikkim's famous mask dances provide a spectacle, perhaps nowhere to be experienced in the entire world. Performed by lamas in the Gompa courtyard to celebrate religious festivals, these dances demonstrate perfect foot work and grace.
Costumed Lamas with gaily painted masks, ceremonial swords and sparkling jewels, leap and swing to the rhythm of resounding drums, trumpeting of horns and chanting of monks. Saga Dawa is a very auspicious day for the Mahayana Buddhists. On this day people go to monasteries to offer butter lamps and worship. A huge procession of monks goes around Gangtok with holy scriptures.
Phang Lhabsol is a festival unique to Sikkim. It is celebrated to offer thanks to Mount Kanchendzonga, the guardian deity of Sikkim and to Yabdu the supreme commander.
Kagyat dance is performed every 28th and 29th day of the Tibetan calendar. The solemn nature of the dances is interspersed with comic relief provided by the jesters.
Dasain the biggest and most important festival of the Hindu-Nepali population is celebrated in September - October. It symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
Tyohar (Depavali) the festival of lights is celebrated 10 days after Dasain.