Tamu Lochhar or Tamu Losar is one of the biggest Nepali-Buddhist festivals celebrated majorly by the Gurung Community in Sikkim and neighbouring states of North East India. The festival marks the beginning of the Gurung New Year and is celebrated by all family members and friends gathering together to exchange greetings and well wishes. A number of fairs are organized across the state where locals and tourists come together to be part of festivities dotted with an array of cultural programs, traditional food stalls and on-the-spot competitions. For travellers and cultural enthusiasts, Tamu Lochhar makes for one the best times to plan their trip to Sikkim and experience an unmatched hospitality of the Gurungs.
History of the Festival
Tamu Lochhar marks the end of winters, ushering in the spring season. The history of this festival is believed to date back to pre-Buddhist era in Sikkim. Today, it is one of the major festivals of the state and is celebrated with great fervour; and though it’s mainly a Gurung festival, all communities participate with equal zeal showcasing the communal and regional harmony of the state.
Duration of the Festival
The dale for Tamu Lochhar falls on the 15th day in the month of Poush as per Nepali Bikram Sambat Calendar. People from the Gurung community gather at a common ground and celebrate the occasion, singing, dancing and feasting on traditional Gurung food that typically includes ‘Sel Roti’ and ‘Achaar’.
Highlights & Important Rituals of the Festival
The day of Tamu Lochhar begins with the people of Gurung community thronging to monasteries and shrines to pray for a happy and prosperous new year. Afterwards, families and friends get-together to exchange greeting and to take blessings from the elders. As the day progresses, people get dressed in their traditional attires and visit the fairs that are decked up with all kinds of activities for entertainment including music, dance, joyrides for kids and various food stalls serving traditional Gurung cuisine.