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August 28, 2010

Warrior dance in Sikkim

Ravangla (Sikkim):The renowned Pangtoed Chaam, or warrior dance, was recently performed as part of the Pang Lhabsol festival in Sikkim's Ravangla town, attracting local visitors and tourists from across the world. The festival is celebrated every year on the 15th day of the seventh Buddhist month. Monks dressed for the part came out of the main hall of the Rawang Karma Thekchenling Donkun Duppai Gatsel monastery-cum-museum to perform in the courtyard. Amid the chants, drum beats, and the sound of cymbals, the warrior dancers - called Pangtoedpas - performed the famous Pangtoed Chaam dance in honour of Mount Kanchenjunga, considered the guardian deity of Sikkim. "We pray to Kanchenjunga to protect, to bring peace, prosperity, harmony to the people of Sikkim and the special prayers are held five days, seven days ahead. But monks get up early in the morning of the final day. They wake up around 1 o' clock, 2 o' clock. The rituals begin and then around 8.30, 9 o' clock, the dance actually begins with all the ceremony," said Pema Leydah a member of the organising committee. Despite cloudy skies and rain, thousands including foreign tourists thronged the venue to witness the extraordinary event. "I am very impressed I have never seen like this before and also the place is very nice, very nice people," said Joey, a tourist from Thailand.

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