The peaceful coexistence of the Lepchas, Bhutias, Limboos and Nepali community characterises the cultural diversity of Sikkim.
Lepcha are believed to be the original inhabitants of Sikkim. They are an animist tribe who worship nature or the spirits of nature. Mount Kangchenjunga plays a very central role in their culture with most of their ceremonies and mythology being based around it.
Limboo is another indigenous community in Sikkim. The word Limboo, which means archer in Nepali, was given to them by the Gorkha community. But the people call themselves Yakthumba which is a combination of three Limboo words, Yak means Hill, thum means place or district, and ba means inhabitant, which together may be translated as “Hill people”.
Bhutias are Tibetans of Nyingma or Kagyu sect who migrated to Sikkim around 17th century. They are also refered to as Denzongpa or inhabitants of Denzong, the Tibetan name for Sikkim. They follow Mahayana Buddhism. Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche as their supreme deity. Losar and Losoong are celebrated are their major festivals. Bhutias ruled Sikkim for 250 years as Chogyals.
Nepali, The people of Nepalese origin constitute 70 to 80 percent of the population of Sikkim. They consist of many ethnic groups like Rai, Gurung, Tamang, Chhetri and Sherpa. The Sikkimese Nepali community worship Hindu gods, following the tradition and culture as laid down by the Vedas. Dussehra, which falls in late September to mid October is their most important festival. They are excellent farmers, and introduced terrace farming in the state.