'Losoong', an ethnic Sikkimese harvesting festival, began in Sikkim on Saturday with traditional enthusiasm and fanfare.
Celebrated mainly by Bhutia community of Sikkim, the week-long festival also marks the end of the Tibetan lunar calender and beginning of new year.
Dressed in new clothes, men and women marked the festival by merry making, serving traditional brewed millet (chang) or country-made liquor and participating in sports activities.
All state government institutions and banks would remain closed from Saturday till December 21 next for the celebrations.
In many monasteries, the celebrations were accompanied by ritual Lama dance (chham).