In Spiti no festival could take place without a liberal consumption
of Chhang. Losar lasting for three days is the new year celebration sometime in November
or December. The birth-day of Lama Chan Ri Zi is celebrated on the 15th of the first Bhoti
month. The Lama has been deified although the average Spitian, knows him by name only. Da
Chang festival is for youngmen particularly and an arrow is released from the bow to mark
the victory over the evil.
At Yaul festival Lord Triloki Nath equally
important to the Hindus and Buddhists is worshipped. This is held in the second week of
June, Namgam festival marks the ripening of the crops in September and horse races are a
particular feature. The home-coming of the crops is celebrated with offerings to the
deities and merry- making by dances kept up with Chhang. Chho Thang is an exclusively
religious festival when a Lama reads out portions of the Holy Scriptures. Lapsol follows
the sowing of the field when the deities are worshipped and their blessings areinvoked for
good crops.Gutor and Chakhar festivities are held in the monasteries.
Prayers are offered for three days
continuously and on the fourth day the famous Devil dance is performed by the Lamas. The
idea is that when devils predominate the gods descend from the heavens and over-run them.
The abbot and the superior monks dressed in their religious regalia sit in a circle
chanting hymns. Lesser monks dressed as demons with horrible masks, strange weapons and
other instruments hold the devil's dance, retreating, advancing, dancing and yelling. This
festival of Chakhar at Tabo monastery held 'every fourth year is attended very widely and
people from Tibet side also join.