The festival coincides with the end of the harvesting season for the farmers who have worked hard throughout the year Credit: EastMojo image

Gangtok: Sikkim soaked into the flavour and spirit of Losoong, also called Namsoong, on Friday as it welcomed the beginning of the Sikkimese New Year. The harvest festival celebrated by Bhutias and Lepchas of the Himalayan state is the time when farmers rejoice and celebrate their harvest, the result of a year of hardwork.

Losoong is a traditional festival of the Bhutias, but the Lepchas also celebrate it and call it Namsoong. The festival has been adapted from the traditions and rituals of the Tibetan New Year ‘Losar’. The festival is organised at the Phodong and Rumtek Monasteries in Sikkim.

The Black Hat dance takes place during this festival commemorating the victory of good over evil

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The festival, which generally falls in the month of December, is celebrated among family members and friends, and there is an air of festivity all around the place. Also, monks and monasteries are equally enthusiastic to take part in the festivities. The state wore a new look with colourful flags and festoons around all streets.

Losoong-Namsoong is celebrated among family members and friends
Losoong-Namsoong is the harvest festival of Sikkim’s ethnic Bhutia and Lepcha communities

The ‘black hat dance’ takes place during this festival commemorating the victory of good over evil, with ‘chaams’ held in many monasteries two days prior to Losoong.

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