Articles

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Losar: Animal’s Day
By Namgyal Lhamo

​It was on one of the third days of Losar. My father came to me, patted my head gently and said with a smile “Life of your polled lamb will be set free”. I was elated beyond words and this memory has remained in my heart so vividly. In my village, on every third day of Losar or Thrungkar, fathers of the households were the busiest. They get up early in the morning to appease the Land God and other deities who are believed to be the true owners of our land according to their ancestors.

Stone breaking ceremony and Buchen of Spiti
Chemi Lhamo in conversation with Tenzin Sonam

The first time I witnessed a Buchen performance, I remember feeling eerily awed. I do not remember much details about the performance but their ghastly white face smeared with flour and the cheek piercing ritual has stayed distinctly with me. Buchen are a group of religious performers in Spiti who enact elaborate rituals and ceremonies to ward off evil spirits that bring misfortunes. 
 

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Celebration of Churs-pon
By Dawa Dolma

I was a young girl when I first visited Saboo. It was a school picnic and the lush green beauty of Saboo mesmerised me. Having been born and brought up in Choglamsar – a suburb of Leh, filled with overcrowded concrete buildings with sparse vegetation, I assumed all villages in Ladakh to be dull, dusty and barren. 

The Sun Returns Home for the Mother Bird in Spiti’s Classic Tibetan Farming Calendar
By Dr. Tashi Tsering 

Spiti Valley has a remarkable ancient agricultural heritage that has sustained several thousand people in the remotest corner of high and arid Western Himalayas—one of the most inhospitable and climate-sensitive regions in the world—for more than a thousand years.

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Reyun Tache
By Jigmet Nurboo

Two days before Losar, Reyun Tache is a festival celebrated in many parts of Lahaul. In my village-Urgos, the festival is marked by each household painting Remu paintings on their walls for inviting good omen and warding off evil. Paintings are made with almost a competitive spirit, with each house trying to do better than others. All the members of the house take part in this celebratory moment and contribute to the painting.

Dartse: The Archery Festival
By Karma Sonam

Ladakh being primarily an agro-pastoralist society, the archery festival is in a way also a celebration of crops that are grown on land and cherish the efforts of the farmers. It is not merely a sports tournament but is an integral part of our communal identity and cultural ethos.

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