Cultural Festivals in Ladakh You Shouldn’t Miss

Sindhu Darshan

The 3-day festival that starts on a full-moon night in June celebrates the harmonious River Indus. Local artists worldwide perform at the cultural fest. People bring water from their own states and immerse in the Indus River at Shey, Lamas offer prayers, and sightseeing is organized for the tourists.

Losar

One of the biggest and oldest festivals in Ladakh dating back to the 7th Century, Losar marks the beginning of a New Year in Tibet. It is also a 15-day festival where prayers are performed, and food offerings are given to ancestors, animals, and Gods. Music and drama, based on the concept of good conquering evil, are performed by local artists.

Hemis Festival

Ladakh’s richest monastery, Hemis Gompa, hosts their 3-day annual festival to honor the birth of the founder of Tantric Buddhism in Tibet, Guru Padmasambhava. Monks and locals wear traditional clothes and accessories, like headgears, Kamar bandh, and temple jewelry, while the Lamas perform Chaam — masked conventional dance performances with drums, cymbals, and longhorns. The 4-storied long Thangka of the Guru is hung in the courtyard.

Saka Dawa

It is one of the most sacred festivals in Leh-Ladakh, celebrated on the 4th Month of the Tibetan calendar, when Buddha was believed to be born and attained spiritual awakening. Saka Dewa takes place in Leh. Locals and lamas follow religious rituals like refraining from killing animals, reciting the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra all day, performing sadhanas, offering food and mandalas, and saving animals.

Ladakh Carnival Festival

The Ladakh festival is a significant event organized by the Jammu and Kashmir tourism , celebrated between September 1st and 15th in Leh. The carnival is a cultural and musical blend of Tibet, North India, and Central Asia. Cultural troupes from different parts of Jammu and Kashmir participate in the grand possession, which includes dancers, orchestra, local leaders, students, etc. You can watch Lions and Yak dancing, craft exhibition, best of Kashmiri cuisines, folklore ceremonies, lama performances, and archery and polo competition.

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