If you misunderstand Ladakh to be a remote destination with no festivals, then you will get a lot of new things to know with this article. Ladakh is one of the best places where people love to visit and spend some time. Festivals in Ladakh are not just colorful but electrifying too. People and monks come together to celebrate the festivals with a lot of zeal.
There are many festivals in Ladakh that fall in the summer months when tourism is at its peak.
Here are most popular festivals of Ladakh that you must attend
1. Hemis Festival
- Hemis Festival will be celebrated on 09th – 10th July in 2023.
- The festival will be celebrated on 28th & 29th July in 2023.
- It is also called Hemis Tsechu by the locals and the monks.
- All the events of the festival are hosted by the Hemis Monastery.
- The festival is celebrated to honor the birth of Guru Padmasambhava.
- People enjoy food and free chhang on the occasion at the monastery.
- Lamas and monks wear colored attire, masks, and enjoy the events that happen on both days.
2. Losar Festival
- Losar Festival will be celebrated on 24th December in 2023.
- The festival will be celebrated on 13th December in 2023.
- This is the festival that embarks the new year in the UT and is celebrated with a lot of zeal throughout Ladakh.
- In multiple venues, you can enjoy watching the Ibex Deer Dance which is a highlight of the festival.
- Monks chant holy mantras with fire torches in their hands.
- There are different-different performances that happen throughout Ladakh as every village has its way to celebrate the festival.
3. Sindhu Darshan Festival
- Sindhu Darshan is going to be held in June in 2023 and for 2024 the month is yet to be decided.
- This festival takes place in Shey Monastery so if you want to be a part of this; that’s the venue.
- This festival is celebrated by the locals to offer their gratitude to the Goddess Indus for giving them water throughout the year. The Indus River is considered to be holy by the locals.
- While celebrating this festival Lamas keep chanting mantras and prayers, locals perform folk dance, and a lot of cultural events take place.
- The festival usually falls on the Guru Purnima as that is a holy day of the month.
4. Phyang Tsedup Festival
- Phyang Tsedup Festival will be celebrated on 26th and 27th July in 2023.
- The festival will be celebrated on 15th and 16th July in 2023.
- The venue for the festival is Phyang Monastery and most people visiting here around these dates visit the monastery to become a part of the festival.
- The festival is celebrated by the Lamas, monks, and locals to show their happiness of the victory of good over evil.
- On these dates, the artifacts related to Buddhism are kept on showcase to the locals.
- At the venue, monks recite Lord Buddha’s teachings and this is attended by locals and travelers visiting here.
- While you visit here, do not miss the Cham Dance performed by masked dancers.
5. Yuru Kabgyat Festival
- The Yuru Kabgyat Festival will be celebrated on 26th and 27th June in 2023 and the dates for the next year are 16th and 17th June.
- The festival is celebrated in Lamayuru Monastery with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm.
- One of the highlights of the festival is the masked dance, though there are a lot of other performances that happen here this is the most enjoyable of all.
- People prepare demon statues and demolish them to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
6. Deskit Gustor Festival
- The Deskit Gustor Festival is celebrated in the Diskit village that is located in Nubra Valley.
- This is one of the biggest festivals in Nubra Valley and almost every village takes part in the celebration.
- This festival is also celebrated to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
- Monks of the gompa celebrate the festival with a Cham Performance.
- This is a 2-day festival where even travelers can be a part and enjoy.
7. Dosmochey Festival
- This festival is known to be a harbinger of summers and it marks the commencement of winters.
- This is an annual festival that was initially celebrated by the royal family.
- The monks and then locals perform Cham on this day at the venue that happens to be below Leh Palace.
- There are many rituals performed throughout the day and idols are made using dough.
- People wear the traditional dresses of Ladakh and then visit the prayer room to seek the blessings of deities.
- Apart from the palace, this festival is also celebrated at Diskit Gompa and Likir Gompa.
8. Saka Dawa Festival
- Saka Dawa is known as the most sacred day in the Tibetan Calendar and the celebration of this festival is grand.
- This festival will be celebrated on 14th June in 2023 and 4th June in 2023 both of which are the best time to visit Ladakh.
- The festival is so important and pious for the people, monks, and Lamas because it is the birthday of Lord Buddha.
- The celebration of the Saka Dawa festival can be seen and heard across the union territory.
9. Spituk Gustor Festival
- Spituk Gustor is one of the most important and celebrated festivals of the year in Ladakh.
- This festival is celebrated after the celebration of Losar, which is the new year according to the Tibetan Calendar.
- Even after falling in the coldest month of the year, people still celebrate the festival with a lot of zeal.
- Huge Thangka is the highlight of the festival and it is put on display for the locals.
- A lot of people throng the gates of Gonkhang which is the main temple in order to seek blessings from Mahakala and Sridevi.
- The statues of these deities are unveiled during the festival for locals.
10. Ladakh Polo Festival
- This festival is celebrated from 11 July to 17 July every year in Shagaran Chushot in Leh.
- Traditional tournaments of Polo can be enjoyed throughout the week at the venue.
- Teams from all over Ladakh participate in the tournament and they enjoy a lot of things apart from just Polo.
- The tournament comprises cultural programs, archery competitions, and the cooking of Ladakhi cuisines.
- There are several other activities that can be enjoyed at the festival here.
Now, you must be left wondering about the festivals that are celebrated in Ladakh and how you can become a part of it. There is nothing to be concerned about and no pre-preparation has to be done. Because all you need to do is reach the venue on time and obey the rules and regulations of the monastery or event.
See Also: Food in Leh Ladakh