Pang Lhabsol

Pang Lhabsol

This festival is unique to Sikkim and commemorates the consecration of Mount Khangchendzonga as the guardian deity of Sikkim. It is believed that the mountain god played an active role in introducing Buddhism into this former kingdom. According to a handwritten biography by Lhatsun Chenpo, the chief propagator of Buddhism in Sikkim, it was divine visions sent by the mountain god which guided him to Demajong (the hidden valley of rice, as Sikkim is referred to by the Bhutias).

To this day the mountain god is invoked and prayed upon at Pang Lhabsol to continue protecting Sikkim. The festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 7th month of the Tibetan calendar corresponding to late August/early September. The ‘chaams’ which are part of this festival are unique and the spectacular Pangtoed or warrior dance was choreographed by the third Chogyal Chador Namgyal, which is said to have appeared to him in a vision.

The festival also marks the commemoration of blood brotherhood sworn between the Lepchas and the Bhutias at Kabi in the 15th century.