Leh Palace lit in night on Galdan Namchot, 2016
|Significance||Commemorate birthday of Je Tsongkhapa and marking of beginning of Ladakhi new year|
|Date||25th day of the 10th month of the Tibetan lunar calendar.|
|2017 date||12 December|
|2018 date||2 December|
|2019 date||21 December|
|2020 date||10 December|
|Related to||Losar, Chinese New Year, Japanese New Year, Mongolian New Year, Korean New Year, Vietnamese New Year|
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Galdan Namchot is a festival celebrated in Ladakh, India. The festival is celebrated to commemorate the birthday and the Buddhahood of Je Tsongkhapa (1357–1419 AD), a famous teacher of Tibetan Buddhism whose activities led to the formation of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. Galdan Namchot also marks the beginning of the new year celebrations in Ladakh.
Je Tsongkhapa was born in the city of Tsongkha in Amdo, Tibet (present-day Haidong and Xining, Qinghai) in 1357. He was a famous teacher of Tibetan Buddhism whose activities led to the formation of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. On the twenty-fifth day of the tenth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, Galdan Namchot is celebrated to commemorate birthday and Buddhahood of Je Tsongkhapa. Galdan Namchot also marks the beginning of the new year (which falls after five days of the Galdan Namchot festival and continues till the Dosmoche festival in February).
Ladkahi's follow the Tibetan lunar calendar. Historically Losar, thereby Galdan Namchot were celebrated in the twelfth month in the Tibetan lunar calendar. Owing to a war in Skardu during reign of Raja Jamyang Namgyal (1595–1616 AD), Ladakh started celebrating Losar two months before in the tenth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar.
As a part of the Galdan Namchot festival, monasteries, public and residential buildings are lit up. Butter lamps are also lit up which symbolizes the annihilation of darkness. Traditional dishes such as Thukpa, Momo and Butter tea is prepared and served in households. Khatak, a traditional ceremonial scarf is gifted by Ladakhi people.
Since Ladakh follows the Tibetan lunar calendar and Galdan Namchot festival comes on the twenty-fifth day of the tenth month Tibetan calendar, every year the festival falls on different dates of the Gregorian calendar.
- Heart Jewel: The Essential Practices of Kadampa Buddhism, p. 3, Tharpa Publications (2nd. ed., 1997) ISBN 978-0-948006-56-2
- "Welcoming the New Year". rechladakh.com. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
- "Tsongkhapa's Birthday and Buddhahood". aryabhatt.com. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
- "Galdan Namchot Festival". lehladakhindia.com. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
- "Galdan Namchot Festival 2013". lehladakhtoursindia.com. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
- "Calendar of Monastic festival". Leh official website. Retrieved 25 December 2016.