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Mask Dance (Cham) Festival at Huiyuan Monastery during Summer Prayer
A Beautiful Monastery Festival in Kham of West Sichuan

Huiyuan Temple (Gatar Qiangbaling in Tibetan) is located in Xiede village in Daofu county of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, about 10 kilometers northeast from Bamei town, 43 kilometers north from Tagong, and 85 kilometers west from Danba county.
It was built in 1729, the 7th Year of Yong Zheng Emprior of Qing Dynasty. After the temple was completely built, Emperor Yongzheng named this temple “Huiyuan Si”. And he sent officers to invite the 7th Dalai Lama Kalzang Gyatso who spent 7 years here from 1728 to 1735 to live in this monastery.

Later, the 11th Dalai Lama mkhas-grub-rgya-mtsho was born here, which contributed profound influence to Huiyuan Temple in Tibetan area.
Three major prayer ceremonies are held in this monastery annually:
"Monlam Chemo" - the Great Prayer Ceremony, in the 1st lunar month of Tibetan Calendar,
"Yaque" in the 6th lunar month of Tibetan Calendar,
"Anque" in the 11th lunar month of Tibetan Calendar.
Every year from 1st to 7th June of Tibet Calendar, prayer ceremony and other activities will be held in Huiyuan Temple. On the first day, the monks over there will dance in gorgeously costume but without mask. The next day is for prayer ceremony, a good bless for better future. On the third day the local people and monks burn aromatic plant, sacrificing the gods to protect homeland away from disaster. On the fourth day the monks perform mask dance (Cham). From 5th to 7th there are horse racing and some folk activities.

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