Darjeeling nested between the hills and the majesty of Mt. Kanchenjunga is a small town filled with people from various professions, religions, cultures and the languages. The people have been displaying a perfect example of cultural harmony and brotherhood. Here one can find the majority Nepalese, the Bhutias, the Bihari, the Marwari and the Muslims who form the major part of the population here. Even though being an integral part of the Bengali speaking state of west Bengal, the Bengali population is very much negligible in this part of the world.

Apart from the major indian festivals that are celebrated in the hills of Darjeeling, some of the festivals such as the Maghe Sankranti, Buddha Jayanti, Tibetan festival of Losar, the Sansari Puja etc give a religious distinctiveness to the region. Moreover during the festive seasons of Dasain (Dussehra) and Tihar ( Deepawali) the hills comes to life with the plenty of the fairs and events organised by the local people.

During Dussehra time the people wear their traditional dresses and make their way out of their homes to participate in the famous “Fulpati” which occurs on the seventh day of the ten day celebration of Durga Puja which is different from the celebrations in West Bengal. “Fulpati’ is a Hindu practice but here the people of even Muslim and Buddhist community can be seen participating in the processions that terminate at the Chowrasta Mall.

Just around this time the hills also comes out with various programmes for the promotion of the tourism, art culture and the west bengal cultural heritage. The famous Darjeeling carnival organised by the group named “the Darjeeling initiative” is one of the major programmes that we have seen in the past. It is a 10 day celebration in which chowrasta becomes the venue for the display of the various talents form the different parts of the town and the also from the neighbouring divisions of Kurseong and Kalimpong too. The things that are portrayed during the event are the not just the music and dance but also every community gets a platform to display their folk practices then there is the art and craft display, the flower show, the dog show and also the proud drivers hit the road with their antique land rovers and etc.

In the recent times there have been shows and the tea and the tourism festival that have again contributed to the development of the tourism.

Talking about the food culture, the main distinguishing feature for Darjeeling from the rest of the world are the famous hot served Momos that are stuffed usually with cabbage, chicken mutton or beef usually and served with the soup, the Thukpa and the Wai Wai which are a local noodle, the Churpee made from the dried milk of yak, the titaura; which is a type of pickle made usually from tamarind and sometimes using raw mango. In the beverages of course the Darjeeling tea needs no introduction to the world, then we have the local drinks as the Tongba (a bamboo wine) and the Chhang ( made from wheat or maize).

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