Tashiding is the epicenter of the Nyingma Sect of Buddhism in Sikkim. Every year, in the month of February or March, a festival known as the Tashiding Bumchu is held at the Tashiding Monastery. During this festival, a sealed pot containing holy water is opened by the monks in the presence of a Senior Government Official. If the pot is full of water then, it foretells a year of bloodshed and calamity. An almost empty vessel indicates famine and a half full pot indicates a year of peace and prosperity. The pot is once again filled and sealed and stored away ready to be opened the next year around. This festival attracts a large number of devotees from Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal and the neighbouring Darjeeling district.
This festival is held sometime in the month of August, to commemorate the signing of the treaty between the Khye Bhumsa and the Lepcha King Thekong Tek with the local deities being invoked as witnesses. This episode is presented in the form of a masked dance (performed by Lamas) depicting the guardian deity with a fiery red face and a crown made of five skulls astride a snow lion. The masked dances are highly religious and symbolic in nature but the clown also known as the Atsara is the one who breaks the monotony of the deeply religious dances by poking fun at people and making the crowds laugh, moreover, the clown/ Atsara is the only one who is sanctioned the right to make a mockery during such a religious event.
This masked dance is held sometime in June, during the Tse Tsu celebrations or on the 10th day of the lunar calendar. Once again monks are adorned in masks and religious costumes and this time around the masked monks represent the Eight Manifestations (the Guru Tshen Ghey) of Guru Rimpochi/ Guru Padma Sambhava who is also regarded as the Second Buddha. This festival is also very popular.