Buddhist monastery celebrates Chemday festival in Leh

ANI, November 20, 2009

Ladakh, India -- Buddhists in Ladakh recently celebrated the two-day Chemday monastery festival. The festival is celebrated every year according to the Tibetan calendar on the 28th and 29th days of the ninth month.

Monks gather around the monastery to perform a sacred mask dance to begin the festival. Locals are also allowed to take part in the festival.

“Chemday Gonpa was established by the great Buddhist guru Lama Tagsang Raschen and this monastery belongs to Drukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Every year we celebrate annual rituals for two days in the monastery and during these two days all the monks of Chemday perform mask dance. Before the festival all the monks do meditation for one week and on the second day of the festival we perform special Mandala puja in the monastery,” said Nawang Gyatso, Incharge, Chemday monastery.

This year about 3000 people gathered to participate in the festival. Lama Tagsang Raschen founded the monastery 365 years ago.