Tibetan monks welcome New Year by performing traditional dance

STORY: Tibetan Buddhist monks performed traditional dance in India’s northern Himachal Pradesh state as they welcome the New Year on Tuesday (January 01).

Group of monks performed wearing colourful masks to the tunes of the traditional Cham dance in the state’s Panthaghati town at the Dorjeedak Tibetan Buddhist monastery.

The main objective of the monks as they performed the traditional dance was to ward off the evil spirits from the lives of people.

Most of local people including Tibetan migrants gathered at the monastery to witness the colourful dance.

The dance is performed before the ritualistic fire that keeps on burning near a group of monks.

The dance comes to an end only when the ritual fire extinguishes.

“They are actually not only for the Tibetan Buddhists but for all the Buddhists as well. So we get only once a year to see this special dance form, in a year that has only 365 days. In the world there are lots of bad things happening. And if you see this, then it will remove all the bad omens or whatever such happens,” said Tsering Wangdo, a local Tibetan man.

The dance form is actually performed as part of the Tibetan traditional New Year, Losar which falls in the month of February.

But this time the dance has been specially preformed to welcome the New Year to ward off the evil spirits from the world.

India has a huge population of Tibetan migrants as they came to India along with their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama when Chinese forces occupied Tibet.

The Dalai Lama fled into exile in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule.