LADAKH FESTIVAL 1 - 15 SEP
Ladakh festival takes place in September 1 - 15 every year in Leh and villages. The inauguration ceremony takes place in Leh on large scale with the procession of various cultural troupes from different part of Ladakh. It passes through Leh Market dancing, singing with traditional music, in colorful traditional Ladakhi dresses, and finishes at Polo ground after performing their best dances and songs. The festival last for 15 days with regular program in different villages. The program includes Archery, Polo, and Mask Dances from the monasteries, traditional dances by cultural troupes from Villages. There are series of musical concert and dance program in Leh town.
Ladakh festival is one of the popular festivals in Ladakh that showcases the cultural diversity of various regions. Performers come from all parts of Ladakh and celebrate with utmost joy and opulence. Displaying a wide array of dance programs, traditional music performances, and colorful robes all around, Ladakh festival makes for one of the must - attend festivals of Ladakh.
Spanning over a duration of almost two weeks, the festival comes to an end at the polo ground in Leh. During this time, the religious procession crosses over from one monastery to the other, as people dance and celebrate the harvest season.
Key attractions: Archery, polo, masked dances, and concert
Ladakh festival 2016 dates: 1st September - 15th September.
HORSE POLO: - A team sport played on horseback, originated in the Persian (Iran) empire before circa 1st Century CE. It was introduced in Ladakh in circa 15th century C.E under the influence of the kingdom of Baltistan and Gilgit through a balti princess who was the mother of the Ladakhi ruler Singge Namgyal. Since then this game has become an integral part of the Ladakhi culture. It has remained a much loved game, played during local sport competitions and on almost all festive occasions like Losar (Buddhist New Year) and Nowruz(Muslim New Year).
Polo played in Ladakh is slightly different from the ones played according to the international rules. It is played on barren land and is much more furious than the actual game. It consists of six players in the each team. The traditional folk music instruments daman and surna are played with the players scoring a goal
ARCHERY: - . a lot of fun and fanfare. They are competitive events, surrounding villages all sending teams and the shooting takes place according to strict etiquette, to the accompaniment of the music of Surna and Daman (oboe and drum). As important as the archery are the interludes of dancing and other entertainment. Chang, the local barley beer, flows freely, but there is rarely any rowdiness. The crowd attends in their Sunday best, the men invariably in traditional dress, and the women wearing their brightest brocade mantles and their heaviest jewelry. Archery may be the pretext for the gathering, but the party’s the thing
MUSIC CONCERT : - ladakhi dance by various dance group of ladakh. Ladakhi folk dance and modern dance will showcase on the due date of festival. Singer will of different band will perform all types of songs on the decorated stage. The concert will start in the evening till 10:00 pm.
MASK DANCE: - Lamas, robed in colourful garments and wearing masks, perform mimes which often portray the triumph of good over evil
It would be unfair to just sum Ladakh’s appeal by terming it a beautiful and serene tourist destination. The true magnetism of the place lies in the wide variety of its festivals, all of which are a perfect concoction of ancient customs, rich culture and celebration of life in the form of feasting, music, dance, fun and frolic.
The highlights of most of these festivals are the dance dramas - Chhams — performed by Lamas wearing vibrant clothes and formidable masks. Choreographed as per ancient customs and considered ritual offerings to the holy deities of the monasteries, these colourful dances make for an unforgettable experience for the visitors.
EXHIBITION: - A handicraft exhibition is organized through the festival. It takes place at the handicraft training centre in Leh.
Artists from across the state come with their art and handicraft items to participate in the exhibition.