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Ladakh is one of the most picturesque locations in the whole world. The snow-clad mountains, crystal clear lakes, lush meadows, and colourful monasteries make for a refreshing and memorable getaway. The culture and traditions of the people of Ladakh are unique. 

Hemis festival is one of the most important festivals for the people of Ladakh. This 2-day festival celebrated by kids and adults alike is an experience you cannot miss when in Ladakh. Ladakh is a great place to visit any time of the year, but during the Hemis festival, you’ll learn a lot about the culture and traditions of the locals. You will also be able to take part in it.

Here are some things you need to know about the Hemis festival in Ladakh:

History of the Hemis festival

According to legends, the people of Hemis village were tormented by evil spirits in the 8th century. Guru Padmasambhava visited Hemis and triumphed over the evil with the help of ‘Vajrayana Buddhism.’ Hemis festival then started to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. People come together and join the festivities in the hopes of keeping the negativity away and celebrating the positivity spread by Guru Padmasambhava. 

The Hemis festival

The festival is celebrated on a grand scale at the Hemis monastery in Ladakh. The Hemis monastery is almost 300 years old. Locals, as well as tourists, come to the Hemis monastery to celebrate the two-day festival. 

The festival begins with the devotees gathering in the morning and seeking blessings from Guru Padmasambhava’s portrait. Music and dance are a significant part of the festival. People wear masks and colourful attires and dance to the beats of cymbals, trumpets, and drums. 

The dancers wear a colourful attire called Lamas and do the Cham dance. This dance performed enacts the war between good and evil. The whole act is very entertaining and tells the story of Guru Padmasambhava defeating the evil spirits. 

The Hemis Monastery is decorated beautifully during the festival and is a sight to marvel at. The Hemis festival is an experience you cannot miss on your trip to Ladakh.

When is the Hemis festival celebrated?

The Hemis festival falls in the 5th month of the Tibetan calendar. In 2022, the festival will be celebrated in the second week of July. 

The Highlight of the Hemis festival:

 

The Cham Dance 

The Cham dance is the main attraction of the Hemis festival. People in colourful costumes wear masks and dance to the beats of drums, trumpets, and cymbals. This dance depicts the triumph of good over evil and is a performance you can’t miss on your trip to Ladakh.

Chang

Chang is a drink brewed with millet, barley, or rice grains. This refreshing local drink is served to the visitors during the Hemis festival. 

Handicrafts

At the festival, the locals organise a handicrafts exhibition. You can find the best handicraft items at this exhibition. They make for great souvenirs to take back home for your loved ones. 

Where to stay

There are many stay options in Ladakh that you can choose from based on your convenience. Plan your stay at The Driftwood Ladakh, located close to the Hemis Monastery. This resort in Ladakh provides the best amenities and has many famous sightseeing spots nearby. 

So, while you enjoy the Hemis festival, you can also see other popular locations in Ladakh like Thiksey Monastery, Phyang Monastery, Jama Masjid, and adventure activities like hiking, mountain biking, and a lot more near the resort. 

Ladakh is a truly magical place! The Hemis festival is a celebration you must experience when in Ladakh. This festival is a good enough reason for you to plan a trip to Leh Ladakh! So, when are you planning your trip?

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