Lachen is a unique microcosm. The Bhutia culture and the varied traditional aspects are of a singular nature. Mask DanceKeeping with the Bhutia Culture, the Lachen people wear various masks during festive dances. The masks usually resemble legendary kings, queens and the dragons.
andYak RaceYak adventures promise to be of the rare and remarkable kind. The Yak Race is held on the New Year Eve (December end). The locals hop on the back of this migratory animal and set the animals racing. These seemingly quite beasts can play havoc when made angry!
are an inherent part of their culture.
The host Bhutia community is primarily migrant, combining yak and sheep herding with one short agricultural season that yields potatoes, vegetables and coarse millet. Rice, millet, potato and pork is the staple food. Rice is also supplemented by noodles, local breads and other local dishes made of corn. Sikkimese momos (steamed or fried dumplings stuffed with meats or vegetables) are popular with the tourists.
A favourite form of social celebration is the drinking of Shay-Chang (millet beer). Served in tall bamboo mugs, the drink is sipped through a bamboo pipe. It is made from millet grains and is non-toxic. It is reputed to be the best remedy to ward off the severe cold of the mountains and is known for its healing properties.Festivals:
Many festivities mark the Lachen calendar throughout the year. The Lachenpas are a happy-go-lucky people who revel in socialising, sporting events and feasting on all days of the year!
Loosong is the traditional New Year and also the Harvest festival, which normally falls in December or January. The 2-day event is marked by prayer and offerings to God, socializing and feasting, casual sports and dance.
Chaam Dance is the famed religious masked dance performed by the Lamas (monks) annually on the 28th and 29th day of the eleventh month of the Buddhist calendar. Ranked as the biggest religious festival in the village, it is deemed to bring peace and prosperity.
Saga Dawa signifies three great events in the life of Buddha - birth day, day of his enlightenment and the day of his passing over, and is considered the holiest of all the Buddhist festivals. Lachenpas observe this day at the monastery in the middle of June, on the 15th day of the 4th month according to the Bhutia calendar.
Lhabab Dhuchen symbolises the descent of Lord Buddha from the heaven of the thirty three gods after visiting his mother 'Queen Maha Maya'. 'Lha' means god in Bhutia language, 'Bab' means descent and 'Dhuchen' means festival. This festival is held in the middle of November, on the 23rd day of the 9th month according to the Bhutia calendar.
Drukpa Tse-shi is celebrated to mark the auspicious day on which lord Buddha first preached the four noble truths to his first five disciples at Sarnath. Drukpa is the 6th month and Tse -shi the 4th day of the Bhutia calendar, which falls sometime in August.
Phang Lhabsol is a festival held to worship Mt. Kanchendzonga for its unifying power. The festival marks the signing of the treaty of brotherhood between the Lepchas and Bhutias. This festival is held on the 15th day of the 7th month of the Bhutia calendar, which falls sometime between August and September.