You can germinate the seeds anytime, I prefer end Dec/Jan as germination can take months and when they do they are a decent size to plant out in late spring.
To germinate, soak in warm water for 48+ hours, changing the water every 6 hours as that removes germination inhibitors. Put the seeds in a zip lock bag with some damp sandy soil and place in a propagator/warm cupboard. Take out during day and place on sunny window sill. The temp differences and light will aid germination, which can take months. You should see germinated seeds within 1 month by this method.
Red Tiger is a good colorful variety of M. sikkimensis.