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Mcleodganj Culture

With the arrival of the 14th Dalai Lama to Mcleodganj and with the constitution of ‘Government of Tibet in Exile’ the epoch of a minuscule Tibet in India was ushered. The present day Mcleodganj is a flourishing nerve center of studying Tibetan and Buddhist tradition, culture, lifestyle as well as Tibetan astronomy, naturopathy, Yoga, reiki, meditation, healing, Thai massage, Tibetan way of cooking, Tibetan languages and so on. Moreover, it is also a burgeoning nucleus of Tibetan artifacts, carpets, thangkas, garments and such other handicrafts.
Rightly bestowed upon with the title ‘the Little Lhasa’ this colorful hilly town of Mcleodganj steeped in Buddhist culture will thoroughly transport you to Tibet. You will find numerous Buddhist Monks wearing their burgundy robes and saying their rosary prayers going about the boulevards of Mcleodganj. The kaleidoscopic bazaars of Mcleodganj are always piled up with Tibetan trinkets and artifacts like Bronze Statues, Prayer Thangkas, Metal Prayer Wheels, Tibetan Carpets, Hand Made Tibetan Paper, Local Handicrafts, Wooden Masks, Metal Votive Objects, Beads and Baubles, Corals, Rubies, Topaz, Himalaya Herbal Teas, Indian and Tibetan Jewellery, Chubas, Masks, Muesli, Bottled Products, Statuettes, Hand Painted T-Shirts, Buddhist Paintings, Musical Instruments, Pullovers, Jackets, Caps, Socks, Ponchos, etc. Tourists visiting Mcleodganj make it a point to buy these souvenirs for their loved ones.
Not only that, the streets of this ‘Dhasa’ are always teeming with the tempting aroma of the delectable Tibetan cuisines such as Momos, Thupkas, Tingmo, Wantons, Falafel, Thupten, Local Kangri Baath, Pocha, etc.
The majority of the citizens of Mcleodganj are Buddhists and they follow a simple and humble way of life. Most of them are engaged in agricultural activities and they are quite hard working by nature. Shackled by their own Vedic beliefs, traditions and customs the natives of Mcleodganj seem to have stayed secluded from the modern day trends and western culture. The tribal populace of Mcleodganj comprises of Gujjars, Gaddis, Pangawals, Kinnars and Lahaulis and their life revolves around the valleys and the mountains of the Himachal Pradesh. A tribal tour of Mcleodganj will yield you an utterly different opportunity to observe their life from close quarters. The chief languages spoken at Mcleodganj include Pahari, Tibetan, Hindi and English. The most noteworthy festivals celebrated at Mcleodganj are; Losar, Halda, Lohri or Maghi, Himachal Winter Carnival, Buddha Purnima, Drukpa Tesh , International Himalayan Festival, Butoh Dance Festival etc.
Celebrated for three days in the month of February or March is the Tibetan New Year when a beverage called ‘changkol’ (similar to beer) is prepared and the Vajrakilaya tradition is practiced.
Festival celebrated for two days also commemorates the arrival of the New Year when family gatherings are organized and the traditional cedar wood bonfire; that symbolizes the communal unity is lit. People enjoy dancing and drinking along with their near and deer ones
Also known as Maghi is the agricultural festival that is celebrated in mid-January for fertility and prosperity. At the time of this festival folk songs are sung and folk dances are performed wearing traditional costumes.
Himachal Winter Carnival
Organized in the month of February is the cultural festival that features some of the exciting events including dancing, skits and plays, winter queen contents, etc.
Buddha Purnima
The biggest and most venerated religious festival of the year is celebrated in the month of March or April with unequalled grandeur and pomp. Numerous religious functions and cultural programs are held at that time.
International Himalayan Festival
Commemorates the anniversary of the day when Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in the year 1985. This three days festival mainly focuses on promoting peace and fastening the bonds between the natives and the Tibetan monks.
Butoh Dance Festival
Alis the international dance festival that is held in the months of June and July when Butoh; a Japanese dance form is performed. This dance expresses a person's innermost emotions through facial expressions and physical movements.