Hues Of Colour And Culture: Ladakh Festival
The Ladakh festival is celebrated every year in Leh and its villages. The festival offers the perfect opportunity to spot exquisite artifacts, arts, sculptures, paintings designed by Ladakhi and other artists. Films shown during the cultural program are also a great avenue for those who seek to learn more about Ladakh’s culture and history.
A grand four-day celebration- it is marked by the musical orchestra, folk-performances, dance troupes, art exhibitions, and various competitions. During this time, the beautiful streets of Leh are adorned with bright hues and even brighter smiles!
Detailed 4 Day Schedule for Ladakh Festival
Venue: All over Ladakh
Starting Date: 22 September 2019
Ending Date: 25 September 2019
Day 1- The Inaugration Ceremony
The festival begins with great enthusiasm and vigour. Every year, the locals and tourists gather to witness a grand and colorful parade in the Leh market. The usual calm atmosphere of the place gets filled with music and vibrancy. In the background of snow-capped hills and Ladakh’s scenic beauty, the view of people wearing traditional attire is a sight you’ll always remember fondly. Cultural performances are showcased and people of all ages come together to dance to traditional music. Dance troupes, musical orchestra, vibrant hues and lots of fun is what marks the opening ceremony of the Ladakh Festival.
Day 2- The Cultural Showcase
Lip-smacking food, handicrafts exhibition, folk dances, art and much more mark the following days of the festival. These days are filled with artists showing their unique artforms. Each day provides a platform for a cultural exhibition to take centre stage. It is a great opportunity for those who want to share their art and others who want to appreciate it.
The second day of the festival generally begins with the ‘Cham Dance’ or the ‘Mask Dance.’ Artists wearing colourful masks representing mythological creatures dance to the tune of traditional music and create an atmosphere of a carnival with each move. The responsive audience and the great enthusiasm puts a smile on everyone’s face. This is followed by the inauguration of Thanka Exhibition by various artists.
Art & Craft Exhibition
As the afternoon draws in and various cultural performances ranging from drama to dance have taken place- artists get a platform to display their craftsmanship at an exhibition. This includes the work of many renowned artists as well as unique growing artists. It is a great way to learn about the art and culture of the place and get your hands on some priceless souvenirs to take back home.
From an array of options- clothes, paintings, handicrafts, trinkets, jewelry, stones, silverware and much more- this place is a paradise for someone who likes shopping.
It also offers exhibitions on various themes- like a photo exhibition of birds and mammals in Ladakh, an art exhibition on the theme of birds of Ladakh, an archival photo exhibition talk series, screening of films and documentaries on Ladakh and live demonstration of contemporary sculpture and exhibition. It provides a rare opportunity to learn so much through the medium of art and gain insightful experiences as well as simultaneously enjoy and have the time of your life.
Food Stall Exhibition
What is a festival without food! The delicacies of Ladakh, marked by the rich influence of the Tibetan culture are as much of a treat to your taste buds, as the rest of the carnival is to your other senses.
The art exhibition is followed by the food stall exhibition. Various kinds of local food products like the locally made barley beer ‘Chang’ is available and the stalls attract visitors like a fire attracts moths. \
After a break, people move away from the stalls and gear up to watch an exciting competition of archery held in the stadium grounds. To add to the excitement, the competition stays open for participation for the entire day and closes on the next day, at the same time. This is a perfect way to keep yourself entertained, cheer unanimously for all participants and add to the zeal of the festival.
This is followed by an exciting polo match at the Leh Polo grounds. The game continues till the next day afternoon and provides a great source of entertainment. It is a great avenue not only for those interested in the sport, but also those who want to join in on the unanimous celebration and get their own share of the adventure and experience of the Ladakh Festival.
The Musical Voyage
After this, begins a soul-stirring journey of music. Veteran folk artists of Ladakh come together to provide a great experience to the audience and one that will stay with you for a lifetime. The traditional beats, the soothing symphonies, and the heartfelt voices will surely leave you spellbound at the end.
This musical concert extends to much more than a showcase of the musical talent of all the artists. It is an experience that helps you communicate through the medium of art, connect with yourself and your surroundings in a peaceful manner.
The festival aims to create an inclusive space where artists, tourists, locals and people from different places can come together to mark a day of celebration. The festival wants to promote love and harmony and dissolve all barriers of caste, class, religion and identity.
It always stimulates internal strength and mental peace as it stirs emotions of harmony, love, respect and humanity towards everyone around you. It is a musical journey that teaches you how to love yourself and everyone else around you.
Day 3- The Journey Continues
The third day is again marked by all these events and cultural exhibitions. On this day, the archery and polo competition come to an end and are marked by joyous celebrations.
Day 4- The Closing Ceremony
The four-day celebration is finally marked by a grand closing ceremony. The gala finally comes to an end and visitors leave with smiles on their faces, and thousands of cherished memories in their hearts.
So, the next time you are visiting Ladakh, do try to plan your trip around the same time so that you too can become a part of this ecstatic journey!
Hey! I'm Gauri. Sagittarius by birth, clumsy by choice. An engineer turned writer. Loves animals tolerate humans. Has a thing for pizza and old books. Expertize in awkward conversations and creepy smiles.
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