Sikkim, the state possessing humble and modest culture and traditions is one of the most preferred holiday destinations in North East India where travelers from all across the globe flock to witness the incredible charm and the irresistible glory of the snow-peaked mountains, lush green valleys, and the meandering meadows. Sikkim folk dances are akin to prosperity, wealth, and gratitude that the people residing in this beautiful state have in their lives. There are three different tribal groups that reside here including Bhutia, Nepali, and Lepchas and all three of them have their own dance forms that are performed on some special occasions like religious festival, harvest, or any other sacred ritual. Watching these dance forms doesn’t only treat your eyes but also offer you an opportunity to know about the different cultures, art, and tradition followed by these tribal people. Besides having different dance forms, the tribes have their own language, culture, and art forms and these all can be witnessed through their dance performances. In other words, we can say that the miscellany of languages, religion, and ethnic groups is seen all over Sikkim.
Folk dances and songs happen to be the ingrained feature of the Sikkimese culture and a majority of the dances are performed for prosperity and they represent the harvest season. Each dance form is accompanied by music played with traditional musical instruments and this enhances the glory of the fairs and festivals. Also, the traditional masks and the bright costumes worn by the dancers make it more soul soothing and eye-catching to the audiences. Some of the most popular and loved dance forms of Sikkim are Enchey Chaam, Chi Rmu, Kagyed, Rechungma, etc.
Excited to know more about these dances and why are they performed? If yes, then keep scrolling down the pages and read out few of the interesting dance forms of Sikkim that you cannot afford to miss. We are segregating down the dances on the basis of their respective tribes.
Folk Dances Of The Lepchas
01. Chu Faat Dance
It is one of the most popular and oldest dance forms performed by the people of Lepcha tribe and it is said that this dance is performed in the honor of the magnificent Mount Khangchendzonga and its four associate peaks named Mt. Narshing, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Simbrum, and Mt. Kabru. According to this tribe, these five hoary peaks happen to be the storehouse of five hidden and necessary treasures i.e. salt, sacred books, minerals, medicines, and food grains. The dancers show their dancing skills on the devotional songs and in their hands they carry butter lamps and green bamboo leaves.
Occasion on which it is performed- Every year it is performed on the fifteenth day of the seventh month of the northern Buddhist calendar.
02. Sikmari Dance
Unlike Chu Faat, Sikmari Dance is not very popular among the travelers, however, it is also very entertaining to watch. It is believed that Lepchas perform this dance to admire the impeccable beauty of nature and in this dance performance every single youth of Sikkim gather together at a place and admire the glory of the nature by showing their dance skills.
Folk Dances Of The Bhutias
Bhutias are also known for their vibrant culture, art, and tradition and below enlisted are few of the most popular and loved dance forms of this tribe.
03. Singhi Chham Dance
Being herdsmen, the entire Bhutia community has a strong affinity towards animals and this popular dance performance is organized for a special purpose. Singhi Chaam Dance is performed by the Bhutias to pay respect and honor to the mythical snow lion that is only spotted in the Trans Himalayan region. While performing this dance, the dancers carry snowy white lion costumes and the theme of the dance is a mock fight to show the never-ending strength and power of the mystical beast.
04. Yak Chaam Dance
It can be clearly understood by the name itself that this is something related to yak. The people of the Bhutia community perform this incredible dance show in order to pay respect and honor to Yak. In Sikkim as well in several other nearby states, many of the families are dependent on the yak for their livelihood and a better survival as they use Yak’s wool for their day to day lives. This is why the Bhutias celebrates the honorable moment of Yak with the special dance performance of Yak Chaam which represents the beautiful relation between the animal and the herdsmen. Dancers performing this special presentation carry yak shaped costumes and their costume takes the charm of this special occasion to the next level. War dances, mock fights, and even performed love scenes of yaks are the main themes that the tribe showcases through their dancing skills.
05. Denzong Gnenha Dance
The Bhutias are a true worshipper and follower of their indigenous gods and Denzong Gneha Dance is one of the best ways to show their love and respect to their respective gods. The most appealing and admiring feature of this dance form is the unique headgear worn by the dancers. Those antique headgears are prepared by the women of the Bhutia tribes.
06. Tashi Yangku Dance
The entire community of Bhutias keep a faith that there several gods and goddesses controlling the natural disasters including snowfalls, landslides, floods, droughts, earthquakes, etc. The Tashi Yangku Dance is believed to bring great fortune to the land and is meant to respect the deities for continuing peace and prosperity in the region.
Folk Dances of the Nepalis
Nepalis perform different dance forms and a few of them are enlisted below.
06. Khukuri Naach
Basically, a warrior dance, Khukuri Dance depicts the bravery in Nepali and represents the manner in which soldiers march for the battle. It is very exciting for an audience to see that each of the soldiers carry a Khukuri with them and through this they signify their victory.
07. Maruni Dance
One of the oldest dance forms performed by the Nepalis, Maruni Dance is performed on the auspicious occasion of Tihar festival celebrated by the Nepali community. It is also performed on several other occasions like family functions including births and marriages. Through their dancing skills, the dancers celebrate the concept of the victory of good over evil. During the performance the dancers wear a funny clown dress or Dhatu Waray and the music is played on Naumati Baja, the music generated with 9 different musical instruments.
08. Chutkey Naach
One of the most renowned dances performed by the Nepalis, Chutkey Naach is performed by the young boys and girls. This dance performance is a part of almost every fairs and festivals and while performing dance the young boys and girls carry flowers on their bodies and dance on the melodious beats of the musical instruments.
All the above-enlisted dance forms doesn’t only entertain you but also represent the cultural and the traditional life of the Sikkimese. If you like this article and feel it relatable to your travel ideas then do like and share it with your family, friends, and relatives. Do show your appreciation by commenting down below in the comment box.