2-day Leh Dosmochey commences

JIGMET JANSPAL KHUNGRU
LEH, FEB 13: With the receiving of fresh snowfall, the annual Dhosmochey Mela commenced with religious fervour and gaiety in Leh and Likir Monastery from today.
As a part of celebration, monks from Hemis Monastery performed spectacular mask dances at Leh Palace courtyard where spectators in large number turned up to witness the annual festival. It is said that the celebration of Dhosmochey signifies the change as weather become warmer with each passing day.
Dosmochey is one of the important festivals for Buddhist people which fall every year in the second half of February in Leh. Also called as festival of the Scapegoat, it is the other New Year festival celebrated with a lot of fanfare in Leh.
This festival is a tradition that was started by King Lhachen Gongdup on the pattern of the popular Mon-lam, which means ‘Great Prayer’ ceremony of Lhasa. But the main ritual of the festival is only performed by the monks of Tak-Thok Monastery who prepare the offering with thread crosses which binds all the evil, hungry ghosts and guard against natural disaster in the coming year. These Lamas are expert in Tantric rituals. By doing the rituals people believe that they will be protected from natural calamities in the coming year. So it is necessary to celebrate this festival every year.
Talking to Greater Jammu, Hemis Lopon Nawang Rigzen explained in detail about various forms of Chams (mask dance) performed by monks signifying different forms of deities to bring communal harmony, timely rainfall and good harvest for a prosperous society.
The main attraction of the Mela is the fun filled grand shopping fair in the main market spreading from the Historical Jama Masjid to Moti Market. Large number of youth were seen engaged in gambling such as Tambola and other quick money making games which were made free for the day today.
Meanwhile, Mahashi-vratri was celebrated with religious fervour in the Harey Sri Krishna Mandir, Leh today where large number of Hindu families residing in Ladakh, paid their obeisance.