Fairs and Festivals provides an opportunity for the people to socialise, reconnect and celebrate with each other. These fairs and festivals serves as window for the people to look into the ever so colourful Ladakhi Culture. Before you plan your trip to Ladakh, have a look at major fairs & festivals of the region.
Hemis Festival : It is the most biggest and the popular festival of Ladakh. The festival is celebrated in later half of June or the first half of July. Hemis festival is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Guru Padmasambhava. According to the legend, he fought with demons to protect the people of Ladakh. On this day, after every 12 years, a huge Thangka, a religious icon painted or embroidered on cloth, is displayed, which people come to see from near and far.
Dosmoche Festival : Dosmoche, the festival of the scapegoat, is celebrated in the second half of February to welcome the New Year. A wooden mast is covered with streamers and religious emblems and storma, an effigy moulded out of dough, are brought out to be cast away outside or burnt. It is believed that these scapegoats carry away the evil spirits of the year gone and the place gets cleansed for the coming year.
Losar Festival : “Losar” translates as “New Year”. It is celebrated for 2 weeks in December or January, date of which is fixed according to the Tibetan lunar calendar. During Losar, offerings are made to the Gods and Deities Numerous ancient rituals are carried out as a part of the celebrations like the stage fights between good & evil, dance of the Ibex deer, dramatic battles between the King & his ministers etc.
Sindhu Darshan Festival : The Government of Jammu and Kashmir organizes the Sindhu Darshan festival at Leh in the month of May-June focusing on the river Indus (Sindhu). In this festival, people come for a Darshan and Puja (worship) of the River Sindhu (Indus). The Sindhu River is regarded as a symbol of the rich culture, communal harmony and peaceful co-existence in India. It also is also a tribute to the brave soldiers of India who bravely fought and laid down their life for the country.
Ladakh Festival : The Ladakh festival is a 15 day celebration starting 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 with an objective to revive and promote the age old rich culture, traditions and folk heritage of Ladakh.