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Lama dances of Sikkim

Domain:Performing arts

State: Sikkim


This video is a presentation about the Lama dances of Sikkim. The Lama dances or Chham is a masked dance performed by Buddhist lamas (monks) during special occasions like the Pang Lhabsol festival. During the Pang Lhabsol festival the Sikkimese remind Mount Khanchendzonga of the promise made to the 8th century Saint Guru Padmasambhava to protect Sikkim forever. The prayers and readings associated with the festival are conducted inside the monastery while the dancers outside symbolically depict the meaning of the prayers to the devotees. The Pang Lhabsol Chham is performed by lay Buddhist youths and not by the lamas. The dancers wear colourful robes and special headgear which carry the darchang or banner. During the dance the red-faced aspect of the Khangchendzonga and the Mahakala, the upholder of the dharma are welcomed after which the warrior dance is performed.