As May dawns upon Ladakh and Saka Dawa comes alive with the lunar calendar’s rhythm, this serene land becomes an exquisite canvas adorned with ancient rituals and fervent prayers. The enchanting Bhumskor procession takes center stage; devotees from monks to students carrying resplendent thangkas depicting the Buddha’s illustrious journey and sacred religious manuscripts wend their way through Ladakh’s winding lanes to find convergence at Leh’s Polo Ground.
However, Saka Dawa transcends mere procession; devotees throng to monasteries seeking divine blessings and spiritual solace. Imbued with the essence of Tibetan culture, “Dawa” signifies months while “Saka” embodies a celestial star near Earth, together marking the Tibetan Buddhist calendar’s fourth month.
Saka Dawa assumes a rare distinction – a festival intertwining Lord Buddha’s birth and passing. Amidst earnest vows and gathering monks, believers kindle candles and proffer incense before statues of Buddha. Altruism weaves its way into this hallowed month as monks share food among the less privileged, pursuing a wholesome spirituality that believes every selfless act earns 300 times more merit during Saka Dawa.
Serenading Ladakh with mindful meditation, soulful pujas, and vivid displays of Buddha’s life story, Saka Dawa ultimately crescendos into a spellbinding lighting ceremony when night falls. As flickering candles illuminate this haven in obeisance to Lord Buddha, Saka Dawa in Ladakh emerges as a transcendent journey unifying human hearts with the celestial.