Gangtok: The Seventh Day of Navratri marks the beginning of the Dasain Festival, or Dusshera, in Sikkim.

On Tuesday in Gangtok, the Durga Mandir at Tadong organized a Fulpati Shobha Yatra, wherein devotees assembled at the temple and then took out a religious rally with flowers, Nepali musical instruments, that culminated at Dara Gaon, while welcoming people to join the religious procession and celebrations.

The festival of Dasain carries on even after Navami, when tika or red rice is put on people’s forehead by elders as a mark of their blessing.

This year the auspicious day has been fixed on October 15, but the celebrations will carry on for the next two days. The festivities begin on the paternal side of the family on Navami and, as the days progress, families carry the festivities to the maternal side as well.

The beauty of the Dasain festival in Sikkim is that it isn’t celebrated by people belonging to just one faith. People from all faiths celebrate Dasain and celebrate it as a get-together festival.

With COVID-19 protocols in place, the festivities were very low-key over the past year. This year the state government has issued fresh notifications that has lifted all restrictions at check-posts allowing free movement to the neighbouring Darjeeling Hills.

Also read | Sikkim to reopen schools for all from October 18

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