There are numerous festivals celebrated in Sikkim throughout the year. As people of Sikkim mostly follow Buddhism, the festivals of Sikkim are associated closely with Buddhist culture. Mostly the festivals are celebrated in the Gompas or Monasteries of Sikkim, where people gather in large number to commemorate the occasion.
In this festival of Sikkim the snowy range of Kanchendzonga is worshipped for its unifying powers. This festival also marks the signing of the treaty of brotherhood between the Lepchas and Bhutias. This festival is observed in August end. The local deities were invoked to witness the historic occasion. The guardian deity is portrayed by a masked Lama dancer as a fiery red-faced deity wearing a crown of five skulls and riding a snow-lion, a truly colorful spectacle indeed.
Bum means "Pot or Vase" Chu - means “Water”. The pot containing the Holy water is opened by the Lamas of the monastery. The level of water in the pot tells of things to come in the forthcoming year. If the water is to the brim, it prophesies bloodshed and disturbances and if the pot is almost dry it signifies famine. However, if it is half full it foretells a year in which peace and prosperity will be observed. A part of the holy water is distributed amongst the participants and then the pot is replenished with river water and sealed at the end of the festival to be opened only in the next Bumchu. It is observed in the months of January – February.
This festival of Sikkim symbolizes the descent of Lord Buddha from the heavens. Lha - means "Heaven" Bab - means "Descent". Legend has it that when Lord Buddha had attained Enlightenment, through his spiritual powers he got to know of the whereabouts of his mother and at the age of forty one ascended to the heavens along with thousands of his followers. He stayed in heaven for three months. Maugalyayana, Buddha's disciple who was on earth as his representative and who also possessed miraculous powers went up to heaven to ask the Lord to return back to the earth. The gods were unwilling to let Lord Buddha return to earth so Maugalyanana suggested that the celestial beings could come to earth instead to attend his preaching’s. So Lord Buddha decided to come back to earth at a place called Sankasya along a triple ladder that was prepared especially for the occasion by Viswakarma, the God of Machines. This festival hence celebrates this legend of the Lord Buddha.