As a part of culture and to attract tourists, Jammu and Kashmir government organizes wide variety of festival to showcase the various rituals, belief and vibrant ideologies followed by different local communities.
Ladakh festival and Hemis festival are the two most important festivals. Hemis festival is one of the most esoteric cultural displays of the mystic mask dances.
Ladakh festival, 15 days long celebration in early September is one of the biggest tourist attraction across the globe. With vibrant cultural shades of traditional dances, sporting events and exhibitions, provides a common platform for regional people to showcase their local culture and traditions. Ladakh festival comprises of mask dances performed by Lamas, games such as polo, camel race, river rafting and archery, regional music and dance performances, thangka exhibitions and many more.
Participants from surrounding regions & valleys of Ladakh parade from Karzu to Polo ground where the actual inauguration ceremony is performed. A traditional music called “Larnya” is played at the inauguration ceremony.
Various traditional dances are performed during Ladakh festival. These dances are visual narrations of the beliefs of the local communities in Ladakh. Mask dances or Chams are major attraction during Ladakh festival. Only Lamas, signifying the victory of good over evil, perform mask dances.
Surna & Daman are traditional instruments for music. These are used for religious chanting and during mask dances.
Games like archery and polo are the prominent part of the Ladakh festival in which people showcase their skill-sets to allure the crowd.