Spituk Gustor Festival
19th January 2023
20th January 2023
Spituk Gustor Festival is an annual winter celebration in Ladakh. It is the perfect occasion to cheer you up in the harsh winters. Gustor in the local language means 'Sacrifice of the 29th day' and is a traditional ritual to the monasteries of the reformist Geluk-pa order of Tibetan Buddhism.
The two day festival is to be celebrated on 29th Jan to 30th January 2022 in the Spituk Monastery. Held in the 28th and 29th days of the 11th month of the Tibetan calendar, the festival celebrated since the 11th century symbolizes victory of good over evil. The main purpose of the festival is for world peace, happiness and for the welfare of all beings. Prayers start seven days preceding the festival but dances are performed only during the fiesta. There are also effigies of evil forms are also burnt.
The mask dance, Cham is the highlight of Spituk Gustor. The dance is more like a drama representative with characters that represent the guardian divinities (Dharmapalas) of the Buddhist pantheon, and the patron divinities of the Geluk-pa order. Monks dress up in these beautiful masks made of clay and paper painted with natural colors and polished with gold and silver while the dress is usually silk and brocade. The dance is accompanied by the melodious tunes of long horns, cymbals, conch shells, bells and many other instruments.
During this festival, monks from many monasteries of the world such as Stok, Sankar, Saboo and Spituk congregate at the monastery. A protective amulet treasured in the Spituk monastery is uncovered for the festival where pilgrims take blessings. The serene monastery gets crowded with visitors from all over the world.
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