Masked Dance during the Dosmoche Celebrations Effigy Made During The Celebrations

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Time Required : February

Dosmoche Festival, Leh Ladakh Overview

The festival of Dosmoche is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in Leh-Ladakh region. Falling right at the beginning of the Tibetan New Year, the festival is held in the majestic Leh Palace. Monks from different monasteries gather at the courtyards of the palace to perform Chams. "It marks the victory of the forces of good over evil. "

Dosmoche Festival 2020 Date

21st February to 22nd February 2020

Venue of Dosmoche Festival 

Likir and Diskit Monastery

Dosmoche Festival - Celebrations

The royals of Ladakh initiated the Dosmoche Festival as an example of the Monlam Prayer Festival. The festival begins with setting up of large wooden mast decorated with flags, streamers and sacred emblems outside Leh. Expert Lamas from Takthok Monastery who are distinguished in tantric practices and astrology, make intricate thread crosses to trap the evil spirits, hungry ghosts and other demonic forces. The Lamas continue to chant the prescribed mantras while weaving the crosses. This practice is locally known as Chams.

Rituals at the Dosmoche Festival

A favourite tradition of this festival is a sacred masked dance. It is an exciting, dramatic performance which takes place in the patio of the old chapel situated below the Leh Palace. The burning of ritual offerings marks the end of the performance. The dance performance along with the burning of offerings signifies the complete eradication of all the evil spirits. There is a belief among the folks that this festival will protect them from all the natural disasters in the nearby future.

Masked Dance during the Dosmoche Celebrations
Masked Dance during the Dosmoche Celebrations
Source

There are specific timings for certain rituals and the idols for the rituals are made of dough. The idols are burnt or kept isolated so that the evil spirits of the old year dwells around the idol or waft with them. With this, the town gets ready to welcome the new year. They wear their traditional Ladakhi costumes and musicians play religious orchestra throughout the two days of the festival.

Highlights of Dosmoche Festival

The enchanting music of the drums and the thumping steps of the dancers is indeed a delight. The Black Hat Dancers dressed in vibrant clothes add charm to  the festival.”Diskit” which is a collection of folk dances is performed as interludes to the Chams.

The preparation and then the destruction of the sacrificial offerings is a unique feature of the festival and thus its major highlight.

Ten other types of offerings, of different shapes and sizes, complement the main offerings and are done away from the main venue and the bazaar.

Effigy Made During The Celebrations
Effigy Made During The Celebrations
Source

How To Reach Likir Monastery

The Likir Monastery is 52 kms from Leh. Buses, cabs and jeeps ferry people from Leh to Likir village. The monastery is 6 kms from the Srinagar Leh Highway, hence easily accessible by roadways.
The Diskit Monastery can also be reached by a local bus or taxi from Sumur or Leh. The monastery is located at a high altitude hence one would be required to walk for some distance.

The enchanting music, masked dance and unique rituals make this festival one of its kind and are celebrated with great enthusiasm and vigour. With this festival, the town gets ready to welcome the New Year.

Photos of Dosmoche Festival

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