Saka Dawa Festival

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  • Ladakh

About Saka Dawa Festival of Ladakh

The most revered Buddhist festival, Saka Dawa in Ladakh is celebrated in the fourth month of Tibetan Calendar which is the month of June in the Gregorian Calendar. Saka Dawa holds a very special place in the lives of not only Ladakhi people but of Buddhists on the whole. The festival is the occasion of celebrating the birth of Lord Buddha, his enlightenment, and his death or mahaparinirvana on the full moon in this particular month. Thus, marking itself as one of the most important festivals in Ladakh.

Saka means star and Dawa is translated as month in Ladakhi language. On this day, the major attraction is the lamas/monks of the monasteries change the flagpole called Tarboche. It is believed the flagpole should stand erect after being changed, otherwise it is a bad omen. Saka Dawa is also considered as the day of setting the captive animals free. Apart from this, prayers are offered in the monasteries, there is chanting of holy verses and also the performance of Cham Dance (Mask Dance). In Leh’s Polo ground a large number of people gather to hear religious speeches and for the celebration of Saka Dawa.

Festival Dates/Months : June

Highlights of Saka Dawa :

  • Flag pole change
  • Cham Dance
  • Setting animals free

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When is Saka Dawa celebrated?

Saka Dawa is celebrated in the month of June.

Q. Is Saka Dawa the main festival of Ladakh?

Yes, Saka Dawa is the major Buddhist festival and is the main festival of Ladakh.

Q. Which is the best place to see in Saka Dawa celebration in Ladakh?

Leh is one of the best places in Ladakh to see Saka Dawa celebration.

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