Life in Spiti is hard and tough but you wouldn’t guess that looking at and living with the people. Each event is an occasion for celebration, for the community to eat, drink, sing and dance together. Births (pingri), weddings (paklen) and festivals are celebrated by the community as a whole. Some of the important festivals celebrated in Spiti are:
Galten Amchauth: Celebrating by lighting lamps to celebrate the birthday of preacher J. Chaukava.
Losar: Celebrated to welcome the new year in mid-November. In the past this used to be an occasion for people from all villages to congregate and trade.
Lachhang:This is celebrated to welcome the winter season.
Dacchang:Celebrated during winters. The myth is that a wicked demon lived here and was finally killed by a child. This festival marks the victory of good over evil and is celebrated in January-February.
Chhhisu:This marks the birthday of Guru Padma Sambhava.
Paklen:Wedding celebrations. Weddings are held usually in winters and are week-long community celebrations.
Namkan:To welcome the harvest of crops. Celebrated around September, people dress up traditionally - there are prayers, horse races and a season of song and dance.
Chakhar Mela:This takes place every three years. Lamas worship God Chikchait for 6 days. On the 7th day Chakhar is thrown into the fire and the Chham dance is performed. It is believed that miseries and diseases are burnt with the Chakhar. This is celebrated in the last week of September.
Gataur Mela:This is celebrated every year in the last week of September. On these days, Lamas, worship God Chaugayal and the next evening, saur is thrown into the fire while performing the Chham dance.
Ladarcha Mela:Previously, this fair used to be celebrated in the Kibber grounds in the month of July where traders from Ladakh, Rampur Busher and Spiti meet in this fair to barter their produce. Due to closure of Tibetan traders, this fair is now being celebrated at Kaza, the headquarters of Spiti Sub Division in the 3rd week of August. A large number of visitors and traders from Kullu/ Lahaul/ Kinnaur meet there. It has now become a conference of cultures of Spiti, Ladakh & Kinnaur as also of the Indian plains.