Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir is famous for a number of monastic festivals that are held throughout the year in different monasteries of the region. The solemn religious acts of Buddhism also are made reasons for celebration by the people in Ladakh and the in turn have a major contribution in spreading the joi de vivre among the people in Jammu and Kashmir. Mostly these festivals are celebrated by the monks who dress up colorfully and five memorable performances of dance, acrobatics and drama. These festivals are attended by a large crowd of people who come from all place to be a part of the celebrations as well as to gain spiritual benefits which they offer. The Thiksay Gustor is a two day festival that takes place in Ladakh. It is one of the many variable monastic festivals that take place in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir. The word ‘Gustor’ means literally ‘sacrifice of the 29th date. The Thiksay Gustor festival takes place at the different monasteries of Spituk, Thiksay and Karsha Zanskar.
Description of Thiksay Gustor
After the two day celebrations of the Thiksay Gustor, there is a ritualistic dispersal of the Torma or the sacrificial cake. This is done by the leader of the Black Hat dancers and marks the end of the Thiksay Gustor. By the virtue of this act, there is supposedly the destruction of all forms of evils. The assassination of the Tibetan apostate King Lang Darma by a Budhist monk in the mid 9th century is enacted during the festival of Thiksay Gustor. During the Thiksay Gustor in some of the monasteries, there is an effigy symbolizing the stronger evil forces which is burnt. During this festival, there are early morning prayers that bring a divine peace to the minds of those who take part in it.
Time for celebrating Thiksay Gustor
The time for celebrating the Thiksav Gustor is around the middle of November. It generally is held on the 17th, 18th and the 19th day of the 10th month of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar.