Leh and the Ladakh Festival
Our latest video takes in the sites and sounds of the Ladakh festival in Leh, a showcase for Ladakhi culture. Traditional dancing, polo, masked Chaam dances at Spituk monastery, and more.
The festival takes place in September every year, and, although it is clearly geared towards tourists, it is a great way to catch a glimpse of the various ethnic groups of Ladakh and their spectacular clothing. And it’s not just the dancers, many older Ladakhis, dressed in their finest, come to watch the festivities – great for people-watching.
The video begins with an overview of Leh and its surroundings. The first dancers in the video wearing the distinctive turquoise-studded peraks are Ladakhi and Zanskari, whom might be considered the “true Ladakhis.” The people wearing the flower headdresses are Dha Hanu, also known as the Dards, from the border regions near Pakistan. (We often see them in the markets selling dried fruit, they’re absolutely fascinating.) The women wearing red veils represent Muslim Ladakhis, most of whom live in the west near the border with Kashmir.