The Gumpa being performed in
Lachung during the Buddhist festival of Losar.Sikkim residents
celebrate all major Indian festivals such as Diwali and Dussera,
the popular Hindu festivals. Losar, Loosong, Saga Dawa, Lhabab
Duechen, Drupka Teshi and Bhumchu are Buddhist festivals that are
also celebrated. During the Losar � the Tibetan New Year in
mid-December � most government offices and tourist centres are
closed for a week. Christmas has also recently been promoted in
Gangtok to attract tourists during the off-season.
It is common to hear Western rock music being played in homes and in
restaurants even in the countryside. Hindi songs have gained wide
acceptance among the masses. Indigenous Nepali rock, music suffused
with a Western rock beat and Nepali lyrics, is also particularly
popular. Football and cricket are the two most popular sports.
Noodle-based dishes such as the thukpa, chowmein, thanthuk, fakthu,
gyathuk and wonton are common in Sikkim. Momos, steamed dumplings
filled with vegetable, buff (buffalo's meat) or pork and served with a
soup are a popular snack. The mountain peoples have a diet rich in
beef, pork and other meats. Alcohol is cheap owing to the low excise
duty in Sikkim and beer, whiskey, rum and brandy are consumed by many
Almost all dwellings in Sikkim are rustic, consisting of a bamboo
frame, woven with pliable bamboo and coated with cow dung, providing a
warm interior. In the higher elevations, houses are made of wood.