Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Festival

Pang Lhabsol festival is quite unique to Sikkim. It was popularised by the third Chogyal (King) of Sikkim, Chakdor Namgyal. In this festival the snowy range of Kachendzonga is worshipped for its unifying powers. This festival marks the signing of the treaty of brotherhood between the Lepchas and Bhutias by Khye Bumsa (17th Century King of Kham province of Tibet) and Tetong Tek (17th Century Lepcha ruler of Sikkim) when the local deities were invoked to witness the occasion. In fact Phang means witness. On this day, the guardian deity is portrayed by masked Lama dances as a fiery red-faced deity with a crown of five skulls, riding a snow lion. To lighten the mood of the spectators, jesters called 'Atchars' play antics during the Chaams (Dance). The mood in Sikkim has become festive.

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