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Ladakh Festival and Dates

Ladakh Festival and Dates

It is said that festival is the main event of any Country or place to know the culture of that place. Ladakh festival is one of the unique festival celebrated every year in different monastery at different region of vast Himalayas. Celebrated with great fervour every year, the festivals of Ladakh are usually held in the courtyard of the Bhudhist monastery. Monks wearing colorful robes and frightful masks perform Chams (sacred mask dances). These cham represent the purification of mind and also the triumph of good over evil. The festivals are an important part of Ladakh’s cultural life. People, young and old, from all parts of Ladakh attend these monastic festivals.

Festivals are traditionally celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of religious figures (Buddha, Guru Padmashambhava etc.) and other significant dates in the Buddhist calendar.

Some of the popular Ladakh Festivals are mentioned here:

Spituk Gustor Festival: Spituk Gustor is the first festival celebrated in Ladakh after Losar (the New Year) held in 19th and 20th January 2023. People brave the chilly weather and attend this festival. The main highlight of the festival is the large unfurling of thangka of Je Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa sect, which is put on display for the public. People also wait in queues at the gate of the gonkhang (main temple) to seek blessings from protector deities such as Mahakala and Sridevi (Palden Lhamo) whose faces are unveiled only during the festival. If you wish to include Spituk Gustor festival in your itinerary you can tell us. We can customize your program with the festival. Please reconfirm the dates before finalizing the program.

Dosmochey Festival: Dosmoche is a festival celebrated in Ladakh, India. It is celebrated in LehLikir and Diskit monasteries. It is the last festival of New Year Celebrations, the other one is Losar. The two-day Dosmoche festival is a gazetted holiday for Leh district and Zanskar Sub Division. Dosmoche is also known as the “Festival of Scapegoat” and is one of Ladakh’s most popular prayer festivals

History of Dosmochey Festival 18 and 19 February 2023

Dosmoche was started by the rulers of Ladakh. The festival was started during reign of King Lhachen Gongdup/ Lha-chen-Dnos-grub (1295–1320).He fought two battles with invaders from Nyungti (Kullu of Himachal Pradesh) to inhibit the exterminatory forces of the battles. Sacred mask dances, known as Cham dance (monks performing dance with mask) are carried out in the courtyard of the old chapel, below the gates of the Leh Palace. Lamas are drawn from different monasteries from across Ladakh on a rotation basis for this festival.

Celebration: High pitched sound of gyaling with the periodic sound of the cymbals echoed off the bare rocky slopes with the rhythmic beats of the drum. Monks look attractive in multicolored robes and various masks, representing various forms of deities including Buddha. They danced to the beats with colorful fluttering surge to ward off evil and welcome universal peace and happiness. Mask dances are an essential part of Tantric tradition of Mahayana Buddhism.

At a one-kilometre stretch from Moti-Market to the other end of Leh Bazaar, thousands of stalls are also famous for a two-day long festival. Thousands of people in colourful dresses converge at Leh bazaar for games like tambola, lotteries and shopping gather here. People from all walks of life come and enjoy the festival.

Stok Guru Tshechu (28 to 1st March 2023):

Stok Guru Tsechu is the main festival of Stok monastery. It is celebrated on the ninth and tenth day of the first month of Tibetan calendar

Stok Guru Tsechu festival is held in Stok village which is the present seat of the royal family of Ladakh. This festival is famous for oracles who make predictions for the coming year. These oracles are not monks but laymen who are trained by monks from the Spituk gompa to allow the spirit of the deities to enter their bodies. Before the festival, these laymen are spiritually cleansed and prepared by the monks. People from Ladakh firmly believe in the predictions made by the oracles.

Matho Nagrang Festival (6th and 7th March): Celebrated in the winter season, Matho Nagrang is held in one of the offbeat monasteries in Ladakh, Matho Monastery. This two-day festival is popular amongst the locals due to the event of prophesy by two oracles. Matho Nagrang takes place on the 15th day of the first month of Tibetan Calendar which is the month of February/March according to the Gregorian Calendar.

One of the attractions of Matho Nagrang is the performance of Cham Dance (Mask Dance) done on the beats of traditional music instruments. However, the major attraction remains the oracles who after two months of meditation in complete isolation make their first public appearance and predict the happenings in the future. The locals consult them for advice regarding varied problems.

Saga Dawa Festival: Saga Dawa or the Triple Blessed Festival is an auspicious month for the Sikkimese, Bhutan, Tibet and Ladakh Buddhists with prayers held throughout the month in various monasteries. All Bhudhist around the world celebrate this Saga Dawa.

Sindhu Darsan Festival: Sindhu Darshan Festival is a festival held in Leh, Ladakh, India. The festival is held every year in June on the full moon day of Guru Purnima. On this day, devotees gather near the banks of the Indus River which is known as the Sindhu River in India. Since 1997, the festival has stretched for three days, attracting large number of foreign and domestic tourists.

The Sindhu Darshan Festival is held as a celebration of the River Sindhu. The main reason behind the celebration of Sindhu Darshan Festival is to celebrate the Indus River, as the river is an important historical icon in India and has been worshiped since the times of Ancient India. The Bollywood film Dil Se was shot during the first Sindhu Darshan Festival in October 1997.

Sindhu Darshan festival is celebrated every year at Shey to pay honour to the river Sindhu (Indus). The Indus river is considered as the birthplace of Indian civilization, the symbol of India’s unity. This three-day festival attracts tourists from all parts of the country.

Yuru Kabgyat Festival: Celebrated for two days, Yuru Kabgyat Festival in Ladakh is an essential event for the followers of Buddhism. The festival is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm at the Lamayuru Monastery. The fiesta enjoys such popularity that Buddhist from worldwide and Lamas from Tibet, Japan, Korea and China head towards Leh-Ladakh to attend the festival. Natives and tourists could be seen marveling at the masked dance performances lasting for several hours.

Significance of Yuru Kabgyat Festival

The Yuru Kabgyat Festival is somehow dedicated to the Yama and Padmasambhava who are the meticulously delineated in the dance drama. Yama is considered to be the Lord of Death and Padmasambhava as the Second Buddha. He is also revered as the protector of the creatures and stallions and is also regarded as the Lord of Wealth. Highlights of the Yuru Kabgyat Festival

The Yuru Kabgyat Festival is celebrated at the pre-historic Lamayuru monastery in Ladakh, thereby increasing its cultural significance.

The festival is celebrated usually in July and is attended by lots of people.

Sounds from the gigantic pipe reverberate many a times in the monastery during the entire festival.

Prayer wheels are also a major highlight of the Yuru Kabgyat Festival.

The festival offers excellent opportunities to get insights about the Buddhism and understand the teachings of Buddha.

Monks from far and near perform the masked dances in order to please the deities who in return keep the evil spirits and disasters at bay.

Hemis Festival: Ladakh will celebrate its annual Buddhist festival, Hemis, on July 8 and 9, 2023. This cultural extravagance is all set to welcome tourists from all across the world to enjoy the fanfare and the rich culture of the Tibetan community in Ladakh. The Hemis Festival marks the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava and the victory of good over evil. Also known as Tse-Chu(10th Day), the event will be held in one of Ladakh’s famous monasteries, Hemis Gompa. The chilly weather, festive vibes and hills are the bonuses you will receive.

The festival traces its origins back to the 8th century CE. Lord Padmasambhava, also called Guru Rinpoche, protected the people by fighting against demons and dark forces. In this Himalayan kingdom, he introduced tantric Buddhism not only in Ladakh bout all across Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. Through a mix of Tibetan and Buddhist cultures, a new perspective on life was introduced. Ever since, people started to celebrate his legacy to keep the negativities at bay. Celebrated with great fervour, the festival takes place on the 10th day of the fifth month of the Tibetan community which falls in June or July every year.

People dress up in their best attire and gather around the monastery early in the morning and begin the festivity by breaking into a masked dance known as cham – a slow dance that showcases the message that good wins over evil. During this performance, people dress up in traditional clothes with vibrant masks along with extravagant headgears, which ooze cultural significance and meanings. Performed by lamas and monks, they represent Buddhas, dharma guardians and protectors.

Diskit Gustor Festival: Deskit Gustor is celebrated in Diskit Monastery with a lot of zeal. The festival is celebrated for two consecutive days. The celebration of this festival marks the victory of good over evil. The effigy of a demon is burned during the festival.

Founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong-kha-pa, Deskit Monastery is the largest and the oldest surviving monastery in Nubra Valley. Overlooking the valley and Shayok River, the monastery stands atop of a hill. The Diskit Gompa or Diskit Gompa belongs to the Yellow Hat (Gelugpa) sect of Tibetan Buddhism and is known for Diskit Gustor in Leh Ladakh.

Thiksey Festival: The festival started with a grand religious ceremony attended by monks of the monastery and hundreds of devotees.

The main attraction of the Thiksey festival were monks attired in traditional outfits performing colorful mask dances on rhythmic beats of religious musical instruments demonstrating the victory of good over evil.

Head Lama of Thiksey Monastery Thiksay Khenpo Nawang Chamba Stanzin Rinpochey said that the annual monastery festival is an occasion where monks in their best costumes perform ritual dances and it’s a great opportunity to offer prayers and devotees should attend the festival with devotion to earn meritorious life.

“During the festival, the ‘protective deities’ faces which otherwise remained covered whole year are opened for the public,”.Locals from all around the place come and enjoy this festival held every year.

Galden Namchot Festival: Galdan Namchot is a festival celebrated in TibetNepalMongolia and many regions of Himalaya, particularly in Ladakh, India. It is to commemorate the birth as well as parinirvana (death) and the Buddhahood of Je Tshongkhapa (1357–1419 AD), a famous Scholar/teacher of Tibetan Budhism whose activities led to the formation of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. Galdan Namchot also marks the beginning of the new year celebrations in Ladakh.

As a part of the Galdan Namchot festival, monasteries, public and residential buildings are lit up.Butter lamps are also lit up which symbolizes the annihilation of darkness.Traditional dishes such as Thukpa, Momo and Butter tea is prepared and served in households. Khatak, a traditional ceremonial scarf is gifted by Ladakhi people.


Ladakh Festival dates 2023

Festival name


Dates 2022

Dates 2023

Spituk Gustor

Spituk Monastery

30-31 Jan

19-20 Jan


Leh, Likir, Diskit

28-01 Mar

18-19 Feb

Stok Guru Tsechu

Stok Palace

11-12 Mar

28-01 Mar

Matho Nagrang

Matho Monastery

17-18 Mar

06-07 Mar

Shey Doo Lhoo

Shey Monastery

01 Apr

21 Mar

Saka Dawa

All over Ladakh

14 Jun

04 Jun

Sindhu Darshan

near Shey village

xx-xx Jun

xx-xx Jun

Yuru Kabgyat

Lamayuru Monastery

26-27 Jun

16-17 Jun

Hemis Tsechu

Hemis Monastery

09-10 Jul

28-29 Jun

Shachukul Kabgyat

Shachukul Monastery

15-16 Jul

05-06 Jul

Phyang Tserup

Phyang Monastery

26-27 Jul

15-16 Jul

Korzok Gustor

Korzok Monastery

31-01 Aug

20-21 Jul

Takthok Tsechu

Takthok Monastery

07-08 Aug

28-29 Jul

Ladakh Festival

Leh town

xx-xx Sep

xx-xx Sep

Diskit Gustor

Diskit Monastery

23-24 Oct

12-13 Oct

Thiksey Gustor

Thiksey Monastery

11-12 Nov

31-01 Nov

Chemrey Wangchok

Chemrey Monastery

21-22 Nov

11-12 Nov

Galdan Namchot

All over Ladakh

18 Dec

07 Dec

Ladakhi Losar (New Year)

All over Ladakh

24 Dec

13 Dec



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