The most integral parts of our society are fairs and festivals that bind our family and friends together. It’s a reason to spend time with our near and dear ones with rich clothes, delicious feast and each festival has its own significance. We have one such region that is embedded with such significance which is known as Leh Ladhakh that is situated in the integral part of Jammu & Kashmir. Decorated with the old culture it also has the beautiful old monasteries, monuments, festivals and fairs and many rich art forms. Ladhakh is situated in the centre of the high mountains and gives the picturesque view. The monastery of Bhuddha found here is counted amongst the World’s Heritage Site which constitutes the Buddhist religion and culture. The best part of the culture here is that the saddest demure nut is celebrated with great joy and happiness. The Gompas festivals are celebrated in winter. This grand festival is celebrated with the colorful attires and mask worn by monks, adorable dance performance, representing the various aspects for the society i.e. betterment of Human beings, purification of good things over bad.
Tourists from all over the world visit and take part in the fairs and festivals of Jammu & Kashmir. It grants us a wish to fulfill our desire, meet old friends, make some new ones, have a party and spend good times with the bustled occasion. A very well known monastic festival is Hemis which is celebrated in the month of July by worshipping God Padmasambhava. It occurs in every 12 years, the next time it is going to be celebrated in the 2016.
The other festivals that are celebrated in Jammu and Kashmir are Lamayuru in the month of July. Karsha and Phyang are celebrated in Zanskar. The Phyang involves the exhibition of Thankas which can be seen once in a year. The other covers the Stok, Matho, Chemrey, Spituk, the winter festivals mark their beginning from the month of November to March. Deskit and Likir is also celebrated in the winter season with Dormoche which is one of the well known festivals of Ladhakh. All the festivals here are celebrated with great zest and zeal.
New Year Festivals :
Dormoche and Losar are celebrated in February marking the most important and the major festivals celebrated in Leh. Dormosche is a huge wooden platter festooned with the religious emblems and the streamers are hung outside Leh. They offer the life of the goat in the belief that the sacrifice of a life will embark a good beginning and end all the bad evils of the previous year.
Losar is celebrated in the Leh region where the entire Buddhist offer to the Deity of Gods. They are offered in the Gompas as well in the Domestic Shrines. Number of festivals are celebrated in the region of Jammu & Kashmir where thousand of people join their hands to tap their feet on the beats of Dhol for performing Bhangra Dance. The Sikh people from Jammu & Kashmir celebrate the Baisakhi. Baisakhi is the day of celebration as it was day of formation of Khalsa sect in the year 1699 by their tenth Guru, Gobind Singhji. This is the time when they offer prayers in the form of Bhajans and Kirtans and feast arrives from the common people.
This festival is celebrated in the beginning of the every year on the 13th January. The whole and soul of Jammu is into this festival with new clothes, colorful ornaments and has a festive look. People do take a holy dip which is believed to be a sacred bath to eradicate all the bad deeds. ‘Havan Yagnas’ fire light can be seen in every house and the temples. Rural Jammu Kashmir has a tradition for boys to go and collect gifts from the newly married couples or new parents.
Chajja Dance of Lohri :
Chajja dance is very famous and is held on Lohri. It is very amazing to see all the boys with their Chajjas embellish with the colored papers and also with flowers and celecbrate it on the streets of Jammu & Kashmir dancing . The whole environment becomes so lively and moves their feet to the drumbeats.
According to the Vikram Calender, Baisakhi is the first month. The first day of Vaishakh is celebrated as Baisakhi along with the other regions in North India. Baisakh is considered to be the auspicious festival especially for marriage and is also known as the Harvest Festival. River, ponds and canals are filled here in a huge number by the devotees for the holy dip. Many visits Nagbani Temple on this grand occasion which is celebrated on 13th April of every year.
The other Festivals are as Follows :
Sindhu Dasrshan Festival
Galdan Namchot Festival
Yuru Kabgyat Festival
Phyang Tsedup Festival
Fairs Celebrated in Jammu & Kashmir :
Purnamandala Mela :
Purnamandala is located at a distance of 39 kilometer from Jammu. The three day festival is celebrated on the occasion of Lord Shiva’s and Goddess Parvati’s marriage.
Jhiri Mela - In Memory of a Legend :
There was a simple, honest and god loving farmer who surrendered himself to save his part of land and crops against the unjust demands of a local landlord who was well known as Baba Jitu. People gather here, in the memory of this legend which shows compassion, courage and honesty by arranging a fair on his name.
Mansar Food and Craftsman Mela :
This mela is organized every year on the occasion of Baisakhi at a distance of 16 kilometer away from Jammu. It’s a three day celebration decorated with the local crafts and delicious cuisine where people from all over North and remaining parts visit Mansar Food and Festival.
These fairs and festivals are not worth missing that has a huge celebration and has its own significance. The people belongoing to Ladakh are more spiritual and close to God and spirits. They have an extensive faith in God and that can be seen during festivals celebrated here. The Monks act as a mediator between the living world and God.