Karsha Gustor Festival: A Unique Buddhist Festival

Karsha Gustor Festival: A Unique Buddhist Festival

Karsha Gustor Festival A Unique Buddhist Festival

In Ladakh, a very famous Buddhist monastery Karsha is located. This beautiful place will leave you astonished with its rich culture, beauty, and peaceful environment. The celebration of the Gustor festival takes place in the month of July. It is full of masked dances, spiritual chanting, and music. If you want to experience Ladakh culture and know about how people there stay happy and peaceful, then this festival can help you a lot. The central theme of this celebration is to spread the message of “good over evil”. It makes us realize, what all are we missing in humanity today.

Here is all you need to know about this unique Buddhist Festival!

Significance of Gustor Festival

Gustor Festival is a celebration that shows the victory of good forces over evil forces. On the birthday of Tibetan saint-scholar, Tsongkhapa, this big celebration of the Gustor Festival takes place. During the 14th Century, Tsongkhapa founded  Gelukpa School. Also, the school was known for preaching Tibetan Buddhism. Ladakh is fully decorated with lights and flowers that make the celebration more lively.

The reason why this festival is so important for people of Ladak because it shows progressive Buddhism. The celebration includes dancing and spiritual chanting that pushed away evil forces.

Significance of Dance Drama

The festival is full of many significant dance performances. Dancers wear beautiful in appealing colorful costumes and their music for dance is chanting by Gelupka monks. This ceremony includes 2 days of dancing. Dance performances have hidden meaning of showing ill acts carried by Lhang Dar-Ma on Tibetan Monk.

Evil acts of jealousy, sin, ill behavior, etc are performed by dancers through their dances. The motive is to educate people that no matter how big evil forces are, they are never bigger than good forces. Evil will always lose against good. We should never give up on being good. And no matter how hard things get in life, one should never give up on fighting for good things. Dancers try to depict victory by wearing Dharmapala Masks. Most importantly, the main objective of the Festival is to protect Buddhism and to spread its importance among people.

How is the Gustor Festival celebrated?

The celebration of the festival is very lively. It attracts people from all around the world. Gustor Festival is an important event for people practicing Buddhism. There are many activities that are carried on in the Festival by devotees. The most important activities of these celebrations are:

  • Firstly, The festival celebration starts with the making of the cake called sacrificial cake or Storm. It depicts evil forces. The cake is cut into two by black hat monks. This ceremony is known is Argham or Killing.
  • Secondly, Buddhist monks perform spiritual chanting to drive away evil forces. It brings positivity and charm to the environment. Chanting also helps in bring peace in Nature and make people suffer less.
  • Thirdly, Dancers wearing costumes perform dances that depict different meanings and that makes festival energetic. Gustor Festival is very famous for dance performances and masks that dancers during it. It makes the whole area colorful.

Special Dishes of Gustor Festival

  • One of the most crucial dishes in the Festival is “sacrificial cake”, also called Argham.
  • Other traditional dishes like ‘Thukpa’ forms very delicious dining for people participating in the festival.

People also gift each other with the traditional ceremonial scarf called ‘Khatak’. 

Timings of The Festival

Ladakhis follow the Tibetian calendar for their Festivals and Buddhist Festival is very important to Buddhist monks in Ladakh. The timings for the festival generally depends on the lunar movements. It generally takes place in July or August. Hence, Dates for the Gustor Festival 2020 is July 18-19.

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