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The “Frozen Dessert” Festival of Ladakh

The high and cold altitude of the Himalayas has this place tucked in, and that is Ladakh which lies stranded from the rest of the world for most part of the year. During summer, a backdrop of the bright sun against the symbolic red flags all around can be noticed and this scenario lights up the festive ambiance in September every year. The surrounding villages club together and celebrate the Ladakh festival, held annually.

The first fortnight of September marks long cultural extravaganza. The celebration begins with the inauguration ceremony which gets started with a procession flaunting the various cultural troupes from different parts of the Ladakh. The parade passes through the city with artists dancing and singing to traditional music and the troupes are dressed in traditional attire and festooned. The colorful and swathed procession ends at the Polo grounds after entertaining crowds with their best song and dance performances. What follows is seven days of lion dances, yak dances, craft stalls, delicious local food and plenty of Chang or barley beer to keep the crowds entertained and pumped with zest!

Archery, Polo, and Mask Dances from the monasteries, traditional dances by cultural troupes from surrounding villages, motorbike/cycle expedition to Khardung-la, Thanka painting exhibitions, river rafting and folk songs along with a series of various music concerts and cultural programs are some of the events taking place during the festivities.

The festivities, their culture and the impeccable ambiance make it one of the best times to visit Ladakh, the cold desert that’s wild and beautiful.

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