Yargon Tungshak Festival in LehLadakh is popularly known as the land of stunning glaciers and high passes but very few know that it has an intense cultural side as well. Because Ladakh had remained shielded away from the rest of the mankind for many years it had developed an intricate spiritual culture and social ethnicity which is very different from the rest of India. The fairs and festivals of Ladakh therefore hold special value to anybody who is interested in social and cultural practices of the Northern Climes of India. One such festival is the Yargon Tungshak Festival which happens in Nubra Yama in Mid February every year.
Masked Dances in Yangon Tungshak FestivalCharm Dances or dancers wearing masks organize themselves in a splendid show and the whole process is supervised by Monastery Lamas. Religious fest with music dance and drama in Tibetan-Ladakh Culture is incomplete without the incorporation of Masks. Several musicians playing traditional flute, pipe and Tibetan drum accompany the dancers who keep on swaying to a magical mystical beat. The Central theme in the dance drama festival is the triumph of good over evil.
The masks are also constructed in the form of legendary creatures of yesteryears that used to depict the various forms and moods of Tibetan Gods. A specialty of the Charm Dance is that the dancers perform real close to the audience. At one specific time there are groups of 20 performers who enact their drama in the open stage and any one legend or story is focused at one time.
Dances which are performed in this festival are Lion, Yak and Tashipa dances.
Food Offered in Yargon Tungshak FestivalLadakh festivals like Yargon Tungshak festival are synonymous with delicious food that is peculiar only to that region. The most famous types of food available in these kinds of religious fairs are skyu, gurgur cha and thupka. Skyu is a pasty based dish made with roots and tubers. Gurgur Cha is made with butter, salt and sweetened tea while Thupka is made with heavy vegetable broth and boiled noodles. In the Yargon Festival celebrated in Nubra Valley, there is afternoon meals arranged everyday for the local people on behalf of the Monastery.
Chants and Music Played in Yargon Tungshak FestivalIn Yargon Tungshak festival, there are traditional Sanskrit chants along with Tibetan spiritual chants uttered by monks. The chants are very long and complex and timing is very crucial. There are resonant drums and low level syllables which are uttered with a strange melody. The costume of dancers and musicians in Yargon festival as weaving and self decoration is an important part of Nubra Valley culture.
Gonchas of vibrant colors made out of velvet along with intricately decorated waistcoats embellished with gold, bronze, silver ornaments along with elaborate headgear made up of turquoise is also the norm in Yargon religious festival.
Yargon Tungshak Festival 2014Yargon Tungshak Festival was held in February 13-15 in 2014. The dates are fixed according to the Lunar movements and auspicious dates determined by Tibetan Calendar. This is one of the most important religious festivals in Nubra Valley of Ladakh so a lot of tourists come to see this festival. Make sure you book your tickets well in advance!
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