Fair and Festivals

FAIR AND FESTIVALS

LEH TOURISM

The religious philosophy of Buddhism, however, profound and subtle doesn’t preclude an immense joie-de-vivre among its Ladakh adherents, and even solemn religious enactment’s are made the occasion for joyous celebration. Many of the festivals of the gonpas take place in winter, a relatively idle time for the majority of the people. They take the form of dance-dramas in the Gonpa courtyards. Lamas, robed in colourful garments and wearing often startlingly frightful mask, perform mimes representing various aspect of the religion such as the progress of the individual soul and its purification or the triumph of good over evil. Local people flock from near and far to these events, and the spiritual benefits they get are no doubt heightened by their enjoyment of the party atmosphere, with crowds of women and men, the opportunity to make new friendships and renew old ones, the general bustle and sense of occasion.

The biggest and most famous of the monastic festivals, frequented by tourists and locals a like, is that of Hemis, which falls in late June or the first half of July, and is dedicated to Padmasambhava.Every 12 years, the gonpa’s greatest treasure, a huge thangka - a religious icon painted or embroidered on cloth- is ritually exhibited. The next unveiling is due to take place in AD 2004.Other monasteries which have summer festivals at Lamayuru( also early July), Phyang (Late July or early August), Tak-thok ( about tend days after Phyang) and Karsha in Zanskar( 11 days after Phyang). Like Hemis, the phyang festival too involves the exhibition of a gigantic thangka, though here it is done every year. Spituk, Stok, Thiksay, Chemrey Matho all have their festivals in winter, between November and March. Likir and Deskit (Nubra) time their festivals to coincide with Dosmochey, the festival of the scapegoat, which is also celebrated with favour at Leh.Falling in the second half of February, Dosmoche is one of the two New Year festivals, the other being Losar. At Dosmoche, a great wooden mast decorated with streamers and religious emblems is set up outside Leh. At the appointed time, offerings of stoma, ritual figures moulded out of dough, are brought out and ceremonially cast away into the desert, or burnt. These scapegoats carry away with them the evil spirits of the old year, and thus the town is cleaned and made ready to welcome the New Year.

Losar falls about the time of the winter solstice any time between 8th and 30th December.All Ladakhi Buddhist celebrate it by making offerings to the gods, both in the gonpas and in their domestic shrines. The Department of Tourism spends a huge amount of Rs.16.00 Lacs for promotion of Tourism by way of holding a 15 days Ladakh Festival every year. The main aim of organising the same since last 7 years in the month of September is to extend the lean tourist season in the region and also to represent and prorogate the rich cultural heritage of the area. The grand success of the festival and the tremendous response from foreign tourists and home including the local people are due to the rich cultural heritage and variety of other attractive programmes like traditional Polo match and Village archery. The famous monastic dance in the monasteries including exhibitions of invaluable Thankas and other Ritual Instruments of the monasteries. The tourists have the opportunities to see the entire traditional cultural programme of the region like Traditional Folk dance and songs of the Nomads. The traditional folk songs and dance of Drokpas the pure Aryan race and many more different traditional folk dance and song of the village. The grand achievements of the Ladakh Festival are noticeable of the significant increase in the arrivals of tourists during the lean tourist season of the year.

Every monastery in Ladakh has an annual festival it is famous for. The main features of these festivals are the dance, dramas enacted by Lamas donning colorful robes and fearsome masks representing various Buddhist deities. They perform mimes symbolizing key aspects of the religion and its history. The Hemis Festival held in June is the most famous event. Every 12th year, a huge Thangka of Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism is ritually exhibited during this festival.The 3-day Sindhu Darshan Festival is organized with support from the Ministry of Tourism. Govt. of India, during the month of June to showcase the historical and cultural importance of the Indus. The Sindhu Darshan or Sindhu Festival aims at projecting the Indus as a symbol of India's unity and communal harmony. Whilst promoting tourism to this area, this festival is also a symbolic salute to the brave soldier of India.

CALANDER OF MONASTIC FESTIVAL

LEH TOURISM

Name of the festival

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Spituk Gustor1
January 07-08
January 25-26
January 03-04
January 03-04
January 22-13
Stongde Gustor
July 22-23
July 12-13
July 01-02
July 20-21
July 08-09
DosmocheyLeh/Likir
February 06-07
February 24-25
February 13-14
February 02-03
February 21-22
Deskit Gustor
October 28-29
October 17-18
October 07-08
October 27-28
October 14-15
Stok Guru Tseschu
February 16-17
February 06-07
February 24-25
February 14-15
March 03-04
Matho Nagrang
February 21-22
March 11-12
March 01-02
February 18-19
March 08-09

Ladakh Festival

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Thiksay Gustor
November 17-18
November 06-07
October 27-28
November 15-16
November 03-04
Chemday Angchok
November 27-28
November 16-17
November 05-06
November 24-25
November 13-14
Galdan Namchot
December 23
December 12
December 02
December 21
December 10
Losar
December 30
December 19
December 08
December 27
December 15

Sindhu Darshan

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Saka Dawa
May 20
June 09
May 29
June 17
June 05
Hemis Tseschu
July 14-15
July 03-04
June 23-24
July 11-12
June 30- July 01
Yuru Kabgyad
July 01-02
June 21-22
June 11-12
June 29-30
June 18-19
Karsha Gustor
July 28- Aug 01
July 21-22
July 11-12
July 30-31
July 18-19
Phyang Tserup
July 28- Aug 01
July 21-22
July 11-12
July 30-31
July 18-19
Korzok gustor
August 05-06
July 26-27
July 15-16
August 03-04
July 23-24
Dakthok Tsechu
August 13-14
August 02-03
July 22-23
August 10-11
July 29-30
Sani Naro Nasjal
August 17-18
August 06-07
July 26-27
August 14-15
August 02-03
Shachukul Gustor
July 21-22
July 11-12
July 30- July 01
July 19-20
July 07-08

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