The Dances at the Festival

The mask dances are part of Vajrayana heritage. The original motivation behind the theatrical performance of mask dances by monks was to liberate spectators by seeing them. A series of mask dances are performed to the accompaniment of musical instruments and ritual chants, once in a on a fixed date in monasteries and fortresses which are also residences of monks. Some of the popular mask dances are the dance of horoscopic animals, the dance of the black hatters, the dance of Drummers of Dramitse. The festival may include operatic performances based on the biographies of King Norzang, Milarepa and the Hunter Acho.

The ritual dances alternate with folk songs and dances presented by the young women and men from the villages, dances, folk songs and folk dances are completely different, with no similarity in their costumes and physical movements.