In the two-day celebration monks from various monasteries in the area gather together to drive away the evil spirit and seeking protection from natural calamities.
The annual Dosmoche Mela of Jammu and Kashmir’s Leh-Ladakh region concluded on 3rd February 2019, with spectacular dance performances by the monks wearing masks. Dosmoche is one of the most popular festivals of Ladakh, and is also known as “Festival of Scapegoat”.
In the two-day celebration monks from various monasteries in the area gather together to drive away the evil spirit and seeking protection from natural calamities. It is also said that Dosmoche is celebrated to signify the change in weather with each passing day. By doing these rituals people also believe that they will be protected from natural calamities.
This year the celebrations concluded in Leh and Likir Monastery, with sacred mask dance, also known as cham dance, by monks from the Hemis Monastery, one of the ancient monasteries in Leh. The monks wear multi-coloured robes and colourful masks, indigenous to the tradition of Ladakh, to perform this dance which is a part of Mahayana Buddhism.
The tradition of this mela was started by a king named Lhachen Gongdup – and it still continues in Leh, Likir and Diskit monasteries of the region. The dance is historically performed at the courtyard of Leh Palace Monastery.
This year the Mela began on 2nd February 2019, at the Likir Monastery in Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir – a large number of spectators also gathered to witness the festival.