Haven’t you heard- “The remote areas have the brightest and colorful festivals?”

Never mind, if that’s unheard because you certainly would have heard about the pristine and mesmerizing beauty of Ladakh. Sounds familiar? Another popular thing is the colorful festivals that are celebrated in Ladakh with family.

Surely, this might be ringing some bells. So, let’s begin with the list of best festivals that even the visitors are keen to attend.

While you plan your magnificent family trip to Leh- Ladakh, ensure these dates and venues. Attending any of these festivals would improve your overall experience in Ladakh. Here are some of the major festivals that are attended by travelers. 

Ladakh festival calendar

Here is a complete festival calendar to guide you through the various events that take place in all of Ladakh throughout the year.

S.noName of the festivalLocationYear 2021Year 2022
1Spituk GustorSpituk Monastery11 – 12 Jan29 – 30 Jan
2DosmocheyLeh, Diskit, Likir9 – 10 Feb27 – 28 Feb
3Stok Guru TsechuStok Palace21 – 22 Feb10 – 11 March
4Matho NagrangMatho Monastery26 – 27 Feb17 – 18 March
5Saka DawaAll over Ladakh26 May14 June
6Sindhu DarshanNear Shey Village12 – 14 JuneYet to decide
7Yuru KabgyatLamyuru Monastery7 – 8 June26 – 27 June
8Hemis TsechuHemis Monastery20 – 21 June8 – 9 July
9Shachukul KabgyatShachukul Monastery27 – 28 June15 – 16 July
10Stongde GustorStongde Monastery, Zanskar27 – 28 June16 – 17 July
11Phyang TsedupPhyang Monastery7 – 8 July25 – 26 July
12Korzok GustorKorzok Monastery12 – 13 July30 – 31 July
13Ladakh FestivalLeh1- 4 SeptemberYet to decide
14Diskit GustorDiskit Monastery3 – 4 October22 – 23 October
15Thiskey GustorThiksey Monastery23 – 24 October11 – 12 November
16Chemrey WangchokChemrey Monastery2 – 3 November21 – 22 November
17Galdan NamchotAll over Ladakh29 December18 December
18Losar (New Year)All over Ladakh3 Jan ‘2223 December

Important festivals of Ladakh to attend with family

Although Ladakh is one of the best places to visit for adventurers, vacationers, backpackers, and bikers; but a lot of family vacationers also visit Ladakh between June and September. These are the months when the entire circuit is open. The snow is cleared off the roads and the climate is comfortable for sightseeing and exploring. Here are some festivals of Leh Ladakh that can be enjoyed by families:

Hemis Festival or Hemis Tsechu

Ladakh_Festival

Hemis is one of the most popular festivals of Ladakh that celebrates the birth anniversary of Padmasambhava Guru. As it falls in the months when the roads are open and Ladakh becomes easily accessible; it attracts a lot of travelers. 

From colorful masks to the last day’s sacrificial offering, the stretch of these three days is full of enjoyment, happiness, and fun. If you wish to enjoy this festival, head towards the Hemis Monastery and enjoy it. Do not forget to enjoy a few cups of Chang. It’s their local hard drink that’s served for free throughout the place.

Why is it celebrated: To celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava

When is it celebrated?

  • In 2021- Was celebrated on 20th – 21st June
  • In 2022- It Will be celebrated on 8th & 9th July

Where is it celebrated: Hemis Monastery

Highlights of Hemis Festival

  • Colorful attires of Lamas
  • Masked Cham
  • Cultural Events
  • Dance and Music
  • Free distribution of “Chang”
  • Showcasing the local handicraft
  • Electrifying environment

Ladakh Festival

ladakh-festival

If you wish to see the diversity in culture, then Ladakh Festival is one of the best and must-see things for you. Starts any day from the first week of September- Ladakh Festival is a 15-days celebration. Locals and even travelers celebrate this colorful festival of Ladakh with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm. 

Locals and travelers groove on the music and masked performers are the highlights. People perform different types of acts throughout the span of 2-weeks. A few gaming events are also conducted during the festival including archery and polo. Everyone wears colorful dresses and sings religious rhymes. If you are visiting Leh-Ladakh during September, do not miss out on attending this festival.

Why is it celebrated: The festival is a symbol of prosperity and it embarks with the harvesting season.

When is it celebrated?

  • 2021- 1st – 4th September (These are the starting dates, and the entire festival is celebrated for 15 days)
  • 2022- Yet to be decided

Where is it celebrated: Leh

Highlights of Ladakh Festival

  • Cultural Performances
  • Musical and masked Dance Performances
  • Archery Events
  • Polo game Event
  • Glimpses of Ladakhi Culture

Planning travel to Ladakh in September visit here.

Losar Festival

losar-festival

One of the best festivals to enjoy in Ladakh is the Losar festival. It is usually celebrated towards the end of December or the first few days of January. The rhymes and melodies of Ladakhi songs can be heard throughout the newly made union territory. People dress up in pretty and colorful Ladakhi dresses and chant mantras. The festival is celebrated to mark the beginning of the New Year according to the Tibetan calendar.

Holy fire is lit and people enjoy their time encircling around the fire and singing mantras. A group of people performs stage dances and fights against the gods and the demons. This is done to showcase how gods protect humans and other living organisms and how they won over the demons.

Usually, travelers who visit Ladakh for Chadar Trek become a part of this festival but if you are here for spending your winter vacation; do not miss this.

Why is it celebrated: To mark the beginning of the New Year

When is it celebrated?

  • 2021- 3rd January
  • 2022- 23rd December

Where is it celebrated: All over Ladakh

Highlights of Losar Festival

  • Ibex Deer Dance at different venues
  • Chanting with fire torches
  • Stage fights and drama performances
  • Dance performances throughout Ladakh

Also Read: Things to Carry for Your Ladakh Winter Trip 2021

Tak Tok Festival or Takthok Tsechu

Tak-Tok-Festival

The festival goes by both the above-given names and is celebrated with great opulence. It is one of the prideful and best festivals of Ladakh because the locals and visitors get a chance to see the dance of Lamas. They perform of scared land of Takthok Monastery cave. 

The festival falls when it’s the best time to travel to Ladakh for the visitors during July-August. The festival is celebrated on the 10th day of the 5th Lunar Calendar. This day is marked as an auspicious on their calendar. The entire Takthok Gompa is decorated with colorful items which elevate the atmosphere of the places. If you are traveling to Leh Ladakh during JulyAugust try to become a part of this festival.

Why is it celebrated: To enjoy the dance of the Lamas 

When is it celebrated?

  • 2021- 20th – 21st July
  • 2022 – 6th – 7th August

Where is it celebrated: Takthok Monastery

Highlights of Tak Tok Festival

  • The Lama Dance
  • Cham Dance
  • Colorful dresses of the locals 
  • Religious offers are made to the lord

Sindhu Darshan

sindhu-darshan

Sindhu Darshan is one of the most important of all the festivals of Ladakh. It is held on the banks of the Indus River at Shey Manila on the eve of Guru Purnima. On this day, the natives of Ladakh commemorate the soldiers of India, who died saving the country. Also, the Lamas celebrate the presence of the Sindh River which is also known as the Indus River.

This festival is a symbol of harmony and a perfect example of the diverse cultures of Ladakh. Sindhu Darshan falls in the month of June when travelers from different cities of India plan their trip to Ladakh. So becoming a part of this festival is easy and interesting at the same time. 

Why is it celebrated: To celebrate the existence of the Indus River in Ladakh

When is it celebrated?

  • 2021- 12th – 14th June
  • 2022- Yet to be decided

Where is it celebrated: Near Shey Monastery

Highlights of Sindhu Darshan Festival

  • Lamas chanting mantras and prayers
  • Performances of local artists
  • People bringing water from their regional rivers to pour the water in Indus
  • Cultural events take place

Planning travel to Leh Ladakh check out Popular Hotels in Leh for a cozy stay

Saka Dawa Festival

Saka-Dawa-Festival

Saka Dawa Festival is a one-day celebration and is known to be the most sacred day of their year. It celebrated the birth of Lord Buddha in the Forth Lunar month of the Tibetan Calendar. It is generally celebrated on the full moon day or the new moon day. During the festival, none of the villages of Ladakh kill or savor meat because that’s one of the principles of Buddhism.

This festival is celebrated in June, which is also an ideal time to travel to Ladakh. So while you iterate your trip make sure to be a part of this festival if time allows.

Why is it celebrated: To celebrate the birth of Lord Buddha

When is it celebrated?

  • 2021- 26 June
  • 2022- 14 July

Where is it celebrated: All over Ladakh

Highlights of Saka Dawa Festival

  • Chanting of mantras by Lamas and Monks
  • Sadhnas by monks and natives
  • The spiritual atmosphere

Phyang Tsedup Festival

Phyang-Tsedup-Festival

The main aim to celebrate this charming and colorful festival of Ladakh is to commemorate all the teachings of Lord Buddha. On this day, the founder of the Dringampa Monastic Dynasty is also worshipped by the natives.

The monks wear colorful and attractive clothes and robes and they perform the Cham Dance. You can spot a lot of masked dancers performing at the venue. Enjoying the festival is one of the best things to do in Phyang Monastery during these days. 

Why is it celebrated: It is the festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil

When is it celebrated?

  • 2021- 7th – 8th July
  • 2022- 25th – 26th July 

Where is it celebrated: Phyang Monastery

Highlights of Phyang Tsedup Festival

  • Buddhist Artefacts are exhibited
  • Monks recite the teachings of Lord Buddha

Yuru Kabgyat 

Yuru-Kabgyat

Lamayuru Monastery is one of the prime attractions of Ladakh and here is another reason why. The beautiful monastery hosts one of the best festivals of Ladakh named Yuru Kabgyat. It is the prime attraction for travelers during the month of June. It is a 2-day festival that is celebrated by the natives with a lot of zeal. 

From dramas, stage shows, dance performances, songs to the religious teachings of Lord Buddha; the festival has multiple things on offer. So, if you plan to visit the Lamayuru monastery during these days, enjoy the festival too. 

Why is it celebrated: This is another festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil.

When is it celebrated?

  • 2021- 7th June – 8th June
  • 2022- 26th June – 27th June

Where is it celebrated: Lamayuru Monastery

Highlights of Yuru Kabgyat

  • Masked Dance
  • A lot of other performance
  • Demolition of the demon statues
  • Showcasing the victory of good over evil

Korzok Gustor

Korzok-Gustor

Overlooking the majestic Tso Moriri, Korzok Gustor is a magnificent monastery built-in proximity. It is one of the finest attractions of Ladakh and people often visit here during their trip to Tso Moriri. The Korzok Gustor is celebrated in this monastery by the monks with a lot of enthusiasm.

The highlights of the festival are the Changpa nomadic groups who come here to attend the festival in large numbers. From dance events to recitation of prayers; the 2-day festival offers a lot of things to do and enjoy.

Why is it celebrated: To celebrate the establishment of the Korzok Monastery

When is it celebrated?

  • 2021- 12th July – 13th July
  • 2022- 30th July – 31st July

Where is it celebrated: Korzok Monastery

Highlights of Korzok Gustor

  • Tibetan Dance and performance
  • Monks reciting the prayers
  • Masked performances

Stok Guru Tsechu

Stok-Guru-Tsechu

Located in the capital city of Ladakh, Stok Palace is also the host of Stok Guru Tsechu- a wonderful 2-days festival that holds a lot of meaning and importance for the people. The cham dance by monks and lamas, special dishes, music, and performances are common sights.  Unlike other festivals where the monks and lamas perform all the rituals, in this, the common people perform the rituals.

Why is it celebrated: To bless the villages and natives of Ladakh by the Oracle. The same person also declares the prophecies of the upcoming year.

When is it celebrated?

  • 2021- 21st – 22nd February
  • 2022- 10th – 11th March

Where is it celebrated: Stock Palace, Leh

Highlights of Stok Guru Tsechu

  • To bless the villages and natives of Ladakh by the Oracle. 
  • The same person also declares the prophecies of the upcoming year.
  • Special food items are cooked
  • Singing and dancing

Conclusion

Except for a few minor changes all the festivals of Ladakh are almost the same. One thing these colorful festivals of Ladakh boast is their enthusiasm, interest, and respect towards all their events. Although the list above talks about just the 10 best colorful festivals of Ladakh, that doesn’t mean the others are less in any way. 

According to your trip to Ladakh, you can swap or choose from the calendar as to which festival you wish to enjoy. But while you are in the Monastery (mostly the events and functions are held in various monasteries only) there are a few things that should be kept in mind.

List of things that should be kept in mind while attending any festival in Leh-Ladakh

Although everyone would be in a festive mood travelers do have to keep a few things in their mind. Here are few important ones:

  • It will be better to keep a buffer day for acclimatization in Leh before heading to any monastery. Exaggerating before acclimatization can create problematic situations.
  • Respect all the rituals, Lamas, monks, and stupas.
  • If you are willing to take pictures and make videos, do ask for permission from the monks or Lama.
  • If you are being a part of any festival or cultural event; ensure that you follow all the rules. Ask the locals what needs to be done and what’s to refrain from.
  • In a few festivals, the celebration includes Chang distribution for free. It is recommended to drink that in limit. Dehydrating or making yourself sick due to over-drinking would be the last thing on your list.
  • Keep your first-aid readily available for any emergency.
  • Throughout the festival, just keep yourself hydrated and use lotions and creams to safeguard your skin from direct UV rays.

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