So we all know that there is a blend of cultures in the Ladakh region, part Indian, Tibetan, Muslin, and many smaller communities. And therefore, the festivals that are celebrated in Ladakh are like none other anywhere else.
In this article, I am going to talk about the top 3 festivals on Ladakh, and the story behind them explained in brief. So here we go;
- LOSAR FESTIVAL, LADAKH
Losar is noted to be the most important festival for Tibetan Buddhism in Ladakh. This gleeful festival marks the beginning of the New Year and it is celebrated with zest and gaudy. Losar is celebrated hopefully in Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan and each has their own traditions. Ready to welcome the New Year with wealth and bliss. However, during Losar in Ladakh, the Buddhists offer their religious belief before their deities in the shrines and Gompas. Throughout the festival, you are bound to find mingling cultural events, rituals that have been followed since ages and also traditional and ancient performances such as dance and folk songs. Although, there may be no fixed date for the auspicious occasion, the dates are usually fixed as per the lunar calendar.
- YARGON TUNGSHAK FESTIVAL, LADAKH
During the late winters, the calm and placid Nubra valley of Ladakh comes to life with the vibrant Yargon Tungshak Festival. The festival is mainly known for its much acclaimed Cham Dance (Mask Dance) that brings the colors to the entire region. Decked up in traditional costumes, the dance is performed on the beats of drums and low-level syllables which are uttered with a strange melody. During the festival, one can feast on delicious delicacies like skyu, gurgur cha and thukpa. Also, a grand religious prayer takes place in a monastery. Along with the traditional Tibetan chants, Sanskrit chants are also uttered by monks.
- MATHO NARANG FESTIVAL, A.K.A ORACLE FESTIVAL, LADAKH
Celebrated with great pomp and show on the 15th day of the Tibetan calendar first month, Matho Nagrang is an important festival of the Tibetan Buddhism Sakya School. Somewhere like other festivals, during this one too a mask dance is performed by monks of the monastery. To make the dance look more realistic, monks wear vibrant robes and God and Goddess mask. The ritual of the festival is that two oracles make an appearance in the courtyard with two mask dancers after meditating for two months. They make predictions about what would happen in future. People from nearby villages also visit the oracle to consult for their problems.
So there you have it. These are the top 3 festivals that all locals of Ladakh look forward to. Don’t get me wrong, these are not the only festivals, but these are 3 of the most popular ones. And if you’re thinking of booking Ladakh Tour Packages, try and book them around the time of these festivals, as it is a magical time of the year in that area.