Festivals of Ladakh



Dosmochey Festival


Celebrated with great fervour every year, Dosmochey is one of the most popular festivals of Ladakh. It is simultaneously celebrated in Leh, Diskit and Likir monasteries during the month of February. In Leh, the festival is held in the courtyard below the Leh Palace where Lamas adorned with masks from various monasteries perform sacred dances (Chams).


Location: courtyard below Leh Palace


Dates: 02 - 03 February 2019


Stok Guru Tsechu Festival


Along with Matho Nagrang festival, the Stok Guru Tsechu is the festival of oracles. But unlike the one in Matho, the oracles of Stok are laypersons who are prepared by the monks so that they can invoke the spirit of deities and predict the future of the village.


Location: Stok monastery


Dates: 14 - 15 February 2019


Matho Nagrang Festival


This festival taking place in the Matho gompa is well-known for oracles. The two monks chosen to be oracles need to meditate for months for the preparation so that they can be ready for the festival and tell the future of the people.


Location: Matho monastery


Dates: 18 - 19 February 2019


Saka Dawa, Buddha Purnima or Vesak Day


This festival marks the birth of Lord Buddha, his enlightenment and death. This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervour by people of Ladakh. Cultural programs and speech on life of Lord Buddha are organized at Leh polo ground.


Location: all over Ladakh


Dates: 17 June 2019


Sindhu Darshan Festival


This festival is celebrated to mark the importance of the river Sindhu (Indus). The river is considered as the birthplace of Indian civilization, the symbol of India’s unity. People from different parts of the country converge to Ladakh and showcase cultural programs during the festival. Tributes are also paid to soldiers who gave their lives in the line of duty.


Location: near Shey village


Dates: 12 - 14 June 2019


Hemis Tsechu Festival


This festival is held to celebrate the birthday of Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. Sacred mask dances are performed by the resident monks of the monastery in the courtyard. The monastery is home to the world’s largest thangka or Tibetan scroll painting. This two-storey high thangka is unveiled once every 12 years. The thangka was displayed in the year 2016 and it will be shown again in 2028.


Location: Hemis monastery


Dates: 11 - 12 July 2019


Phyang Tsedup Festival


During the festival, sacred mask dances are performed by monks. A huge thangka of Skyoba Jigten Gombo, the founder of the Drikungpa order, is displayed.


Location: Phyang monastery


Dates: 30 - 31 July 2019


Ladakh Festival


This festival is organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department. Various cultural programs are held such as folk dances, traditional music, archery competitions and polo matches. Mask dances are one of the highlights of the festival. This festival is a perfect opportunity for the tourists to discover the culture and lifestyle of the Ladakhi people.


Location: Leh


Dates: 20 - 26 September 2019 (to be confirmed)


Losar Festival


The Losar festival marks the start of the New Year in Ladakh, it is one of the most important socio-religious events. It lasts about two weeks but the first three days are the most important ones. During this time, Ladakhi people go to the monasteries to make offerings and they visit their relatives and friends.


Location: all over Ladakh


Dates: 27 December 2019




Monastic festival of Ladakh, sacred mask dance
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