Nagrang festival celebrated at Matho Monastery

By Padma Angmo Matho, Mar 06, 2015
Matho :
The annual festival of Matho Monastery, the Matho Nagrang was held on 5th and 6th March with great enthusiasm. Generally this festival fall on month of February and March and it is celebrated on the 14th and 15th day of the first month of Tibetan calendar.  During this two -day festival, the monks give a splendid performance of mask dances. They wear colorful and silk robes and masks that symbolize the faces of Gods and Goddesses.
The popularity and fame of Matho Nagrang festival lies in the fact that after two whole months of dedicated meditation in complete isolation, two oracles of the monastery known as ‘Rongstan’ appear among the public. Every third year monks of the monastery are chosen to train and to receive the spirit. They arrive to the courtyard of the monastery and accompany the masks monk dancers. These oracles also predict the future events and people from different parts of Ladakh seek some advice from the oracles and perform certain rituals to handle disasters and other unpleasant happenings.
These oracles come in absolute spiritual spell after their isolated meditation. They run blindfolded over the high embankment of the monastery and jump from one high balcony to another. All these spectacles can be witnessed during the Matho Nagrang.

 The Matho Monastery is about 26 kms from Leh, it is the only one monastery belonging to the Saskya-pa school of Tibetan Buddhism, one of the last Red Hat sects to be found in Tibet. Lama Dugpa Dorje founded the Matho Monastery in 16th century. On the right side of the monastery courtyard, is the entrance to the main assembly hall. 

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