Leh Ladakh is a land of rich cultural heritage, traditions and ancient beliefs and myths. Festivals are a major part of Leh Ladakh celebrated with great enthusiasm. Ladakh festivals are celebrated to deliver a message of unity, brotherhood, peace, love, joy and upliftment of humanity. Every occasion whether marriage, birth, harvesting and merrymaking of head lamas creators of the monasteries, New Year, etc, are celebrated by feasting, dancing, and singing folk songs which forms an integral part of the living heritage.The festivals of Ladakh are celebrated by monks wearing colorful silk garments and different facial masks. Most of these are held in winter but a few famous ones also take place in summer.
Hemis festival is a major monastic festival of Leh held in the month of June to celebrate the birth of Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tantric Buddhism in Tibet. It is a two-day long festival which takes place in the Hemis Gompa. Sacred mask dances, dramas and musical acts are performed by monks and lamas during the festival.
Spituk Gustor is a two-day Leh festival celebrated in July which is the 11th month of the Tibetan calendar held in the Spituk Monastery.The festival is rejoiced for the mark of victory over evil. During this event a mask dance is performed in which masks represent the Guardians, Protectors, Gods and Goddesses.
The Dosmoche Festival takes place in the second half of February in Leh Palace, Likir and DeskitMonastery in Ladakh. It is another festival which spans over two days.It is one of the two New Years of which is held in Leh. The monks perform Chams during this festival from different monasteries.
Stok Guru Tsechu
Stok Guru Tsechu is a festival celebrated by monks of Stok and Spituk Monasteries for two days. It takes place in the February or March in which the priests and monks participate.During this festival,two oracles are prepared by the monks who give advice on any topic required. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm and passion.
Matho Nagrang is celebrated in February or March on the 15th day in the Matho Monastery. During this two day festival mask dances are performed by the monks of the monastery attired in vibrant silk brocades and different facial masks of Gods and Goddesses. The main highlight is the two oracles, perform rituals and give advice to the needful.
Yuru KabgyatThis is a two day long festival held in July and takes place in the Lamayuru Monastery. During the Yuru Kabgyat festival also, mask dances are performed by monks along with prayers and other rituals to relieve themselves of disaster and encouraging peace in the world.
Losar is celebrated during the winter months which can be November, December or Januaryin different years in all over Ladakh. This Leh Ladakh festival marks the main New Year celebration according to the Tibetan calendar. During this festival Buddhists make offerings to gods and the festivities begin a month before the actual date. It marks the victory of good over evil by chantings logans and chasing ghosts.
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Explore the Spirit and Festivities of Leh Ladakh