Sikkim is a landlocked Indian state located in the Himalayan mountains. The state borders Nepal to the west, China’s Tibet Autonomous Region to the north and east, Bhutan to the east and the Indian state of West Bengal to the south.
Sikkim is the only state in India with an ethnic Nepali majority. Sikkim has 11 official languages: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Limbu, Newari, Rai, Gurung, Magar, Sherpa, Tamang and Sunwar.
Sikkim is a popular tourist destination, owing to its culture, scenery and biodiversity.
Gangtok is the capital and the largest city of the state. Other major cities in the Sikkim include – Pelling, Gezing, Mangan, Namchi and Yuksan.
Diwali Celebrations in Sikkim :
In Sikkim majority of people are Nepali and hence they celebrate Diwali in Nepali style and with Nepali traditions. Here festival of Diwali is known as Tihar.
In Sikkim, Tihar celebrates the return of Lord Ram to his hometown from exile after victory over Ravana. Here Tihar festival is celebrated for five days.
The festival honours certain animals on successive days. The first day known as “Kak Tihar” is dedicated to crows and they are offered rice and are garlanded and worshiped. On the second day, which is known as “Kukkur Tihar”, dogs are garlanded. On the third day the cows are honoured with garlands and their horns are painted in bright colours. Fourth day is dedicated to bullocks.
Diwali, which falls on the third day is considered to be the most important day. On this day people perform the Lakshmi Ganesh Puja and decorate their homes with diya’s, lights and candles to welcome goddess Lakshmi.
The fifth day is also known as Bhai Tika, the day that celebrated the relationship between a brother and sister. On this day brothers visit the homes of their sisters and they apply tikas vermilion to each other foreheads. It is also an occasion for exchanging gifts.
During Tihar people of Sikkim sing traditional carols called Bailo or Deusi.
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