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Mask Dance (Cham) Festival at Tagong Monastery
A Beautiful Monastery Festival in Kham of West Sichuan

With more than one thousand yeas history, Tagong Monastery, a famous sakya temple in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, is a important pilgrimage shrine for Tibetan in Kangba region.

It said that the precious statue, Sakyamuni’s 12-year-old life-size statue in the Monastery, was molded in 641 AD when Princess Wencheng entered Tibet for peace (In ancient times, the princess get married to the rulers of minority nationalities in the border areas for peace.)

In the distance, covered with snow all year, Yala mountain, a magnificent snow mountain, is the Dharmapala for Tagong Monastery.

Beginning on 12th June of the Tibetan calendar, the annual religious dance performance of Tagong Monastery lasts three days.

On the first day, the monks in the temple have a ritual dance with the best frock but not mask and dharmapala’s costume.

On the second day, although they have the ritual dance with mask and dharmapala’s costume, the content and order of the program are same with the first day’s, aiming to pray God for getting peace, subduing devil and avoiding disaster.

On the third day, Budda Showing is held and both villagers and monks are organized to attend horse race with the destination at the top of Green Tara, one of the four holy mountains of Tagong. Of course, the winner will be awarded by authority of the monastery.

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