Top 7 Festivals of Ladakh5 min read
India is a land of diversities and the variety in food, culture, and festivals here makes the country an exciting proposition for explorers. To many, Ladakh is just an enveloped by snow-covered peaks and daunting passes. By what they don’t know is that there are Customs and festivals of Ladakh that are alluring as well.
Ladakh the land where heaven seems to meet the earth. The land where the lakes appear to be dyed in blue and the mountains coated with a dash of red. However, Ladakh is also home to various communities and cultures. This interesting diversity is in full display during festivals, with each festival marked by the culture processions, ceremonies, traditional dance and music, and most exciting of all, their masked dances. It is interesting to note that most of the fairs and festivals of Ladakh take place during winter and so if you want to land up in Ladakh during a regional festival, consult the Ladakh festival calendar well.
1.Losar: Welcoming the New Year with open arms
Key attractions: The highlights of this festivals are the stage fights between the God and the Evil, as well as the Ibex Deer Dance.
One of the most popular festivals of Ladakh is Losar – a medley of cultural events, rituals, and performances. Holy fire, chants of mantras, and colorful robes set the tone for the celebration for this festival that falls mostly in the month of December as the Tibetan calendar.
The Losar festival celebration is a month-long celebration when gods, ancestors as well as animals are fed without any break. Pictures of Alpine of Ibex are made on the walls in the form of a fortunate representation. People of all age groups take part in the Losar celebrations with full zeal.
2.Hemis Tsechu: A cultural extravaganza
Key attractions: The highlight of the festival remains colorful masks and fine silk costumes. They are worn by the dancers that represent guardian divinities to which Hemis belongs. Every dance move has a relevance and depicts the magical feats of Padmasambhava. An 8th-century Indian Buddhist master in his eight manifestations to defeat the enemies of Buddhism.
The biggest and the most popular festival of Ladakh is Hemis Tse-Chu. The festival is celebrated in the latter half of June or the half of July. Hemis festival is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Guru Padmasambhava. On this day, after every 12 years, a huge thangka, a religious icon painted or embroidered on clot, is displayed.
3.Sindhu Darshan: Celebrating the existence of the holy Indus
Key attractions: The key attractions of this occasion are the chanting of hymns and Buddhist prayer. By the Lamas as well as the performance of the Cultural programs by eminent artists.
Sindhu Darshan is a 3-day festival, that starts on 1st June and ends on the third day of the month. Shay Manla, around 8 km from the Leh town, placed on the banks of the River Indus becomes the Venue. Along with being a celebration of Ladakh’s domestic tourism, it also pays respect to Indian soldiers who laid their lives fighting with the human enemies as well as natural disasters. During the celebration, Indian artists of different castes, regions, and religions perform their traditional dances.
4.Ladakh Festival: Harvest symbolizes prosperity
Key attractions: The main attraction of this event are masked dances, archery and polo competitions, and concert.
One of the biggest festival of Ladakh, Ladakh Festival. It attracts performance from all over the region, thus displaying its amazing cultural diversity. The celebration of Ladakh festival last for 15 days, usually from 1st September to 15th September. Music, theatre, polo, archery, mask and folk dances, showcasing of the local arts and crafts, etc… are the highlights of this festival. The main objective behind the festival is to revive and promote the rich culture, traditions and folk heritage of Ladakh thereby ensuring a sound tourist inflow to the region.
5.Yuru Kabgyat: Victory of good over evil
Key attractions: The highlight of this Festival is a sacred ritual. Which involves the demolition of the statue which symbolizes the liberation of the inner demons.
Yuru Kabgyat is one of the most fascinating Buddhist festivals in Ladakh. The mystical beauty of Lamayuru monastery, accompanied by the celebration of Yuru Kabgyat makes it a prime attraction for travelers in the month of July. It is a 2-day Leh Ladakh festival that brings together the people of Lamayuru where they imitate the teaching of Tibetan Buddhism by singing and dancing in a traditional pattern.
6.Phyang Tsedup: Remembering the Oracles
Key attraction: Once here, you should make it a point to check out the fabulous painting inside the monastery.
Phyang Tsedup festival is organized in the month of July / August. In the same manner as the other monasteries, the monks perform mask dances, wearing colorful brocade silk robes and masks depicting gods and goddesses. During the festival, a large thangka of Skyoba Giksten Gonbo is placed in the courtyard.
7.Dosmoche: Celebrating virtue amid drum and thumps
Key Attraction: The lamas from monasteries who are the experts in tantric practice and astrology prepare. Thread Crosses – an offering that is believed to drive away all the evil spirits and demonic forces.
Dosmoche, one of the winter festivals in Ladakh. It is celebrated to ensure the safety and well-being of the local people of Ladakh. The celebration of the festival, which is celebrated over a period of two days, was started by the Ladakh royals. On this auspicious day, hundreds of Ladakhis dressed in a fancy disguise perform the sacred dance together.