Trivia / Unravel Ladakh

_____ ends with the destruction of a human sculpture made up of dough.

  1. Losar
  2. Thiksey Gustor
  3. Hemis Festival

Hemis Festival

Hemis Festival is celebrated annually in the courtyard of Hemis Monastery, the largest monastery in Ladakh. The 2-day fiesta celebrates the birth anniversary of the Buddhist guru Padmasambhava. It is also believed that his life mission was, and remains, to improve the spiritual condition of all living beings.

Masked dances performed by the Lamas, also known as the Chham Dance is the main event of the festival. It depicts the triumph of good over the evil and demonstrates that no matter what we do, evil can never be victorious. The monks wear long gowns and elaborate masks - each depicting different deities and demons. In the end, a sculpture made up of dough and representing the evil powers is destroyed by the head of Black Hat dancers. The ritual indicates the purification of the soul after death.

Every 12 years in the Tibetan Year of the Monkey, a very large(62 ft in length) Thangka(a Tibetan Buddhist painting on cotton) of Guru Padmasambhava, decorated with semi-precious stones and gems is showcased at the festival. The Thangka would be showcased in 2028 next time.