Sikkim:: Food And Festivals

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It is traditionally accepted that the Lepchas are the autochthonous tribe of Sikkim. After them came the Bhutias, from Tibet, followed by the Nepalese and finally the Indian business community from the plains. The festivals of all these people are celebrated with equal fervor. The Buddhists celebrate Saga Dawa the Triple Blessed Festival around end of May & Early June. The Sikkimese festival of Phang Lhabsol where the snowy range of Khangchendzonga is worshipped for its unifying powers is celebrated with equal fervor. The Nepali Hindus celebrate Dasain / Dusshera/ Durga Puja, Diwali, Holi and many other Hindu festivals.

Rice is the staple food. Meat and dairy products are also consumed depending on availability. Besides these, various traditional fermented foods and beverages, which constitute of about 20 per cent of the basic diet for long centuries, are prepared and consumed. Momo, steamed dumpling prepared from wheat flour and meat/vegetable is very common Tibetan food. Thukpa/Gya-thuk is a typical Tibetan style noodles in soup. Thukpa/Gya-thuk is very popular local cuisine also available in all restaurants and hotels of these regions. These dishes have now been commercialized in India also.