HEMIS FESTIVAL 2013, LADAKH
Start Date: Saturday, 18 June 2013
End Date: Sunday, 19 June 2013
Ladakh is a storehouse of culture and adventure. The Buddhist culture in Ladakh has been inviting travellers for ages from all parts of the world. Fairs and festivals of Ladakh are a perfect mirror to the cultural practices and traditions that carry on in Ladakh. The Hemis Festival of Ladakh is a major crowd puller and holds a lot of significance in terms of culture. The festival, which runs for two days, is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of the Buddhist guru Padmasambhava. The festivities of Hemis take place at the world-famous Hemis Gompa, located at a distance of 45 km from the capital town of Leh.
Sacred dances, contradictory explanations and special musical performances are the major highlights of the Hemis Festival in Ladakh. During the festival, lamas and monks gather at the Hemis Gompa to perform the sacred Mask Dance. The specific dance form is meant to celebrate good over evil. Apart from these dances, the lamas also come up to explain the significance and the actual meaning of the sacred dance performances.
Hemis is colourful festival showcasing the beautiful handicrafts of the region. The festival is also famous for the "devil dances" that constitute an important element in the social entertainment of Ladakhis. The major attractions are the masked dances, that depicts the victory of right over the evil. "Chang" A country liquor is been served on this occasion. Men can be seen wearing cummerbands while women are dressed in bright headgear and lots of jewellery. Brass trumpets, which are 3 metre in length, are played and the whole festive scene becomes a sight to behold. Travellers also stand good chances of interacting with rural people which is otherwise not possible.