Kagyed Chaam is a traditional Sikkimese Dance performed on the 28th and 29th day of the 10th Month of the Tibetan calendar which generally falls in the last week of December. The word Chaam in Tibetan corresponds to a dance performed by various artists. This dance is performed in Sikkim symbolizing the destruction of the evil forces and hoping for peace and prosperity to flourish in every Sikkimese home. The dancers of this enormously admired Chaam are always monks who are accomplished in liturgical music and chanting.
The solemn nature of the dance is interspersed with comic relief provided by the jesters. Kagyed dances enact various themes from the Buddhist mythology and culminate with the burning of effigies made of flour, wood and paper. During monarchy, Sikkim used to celebrate this dance as a national event. One can notice the Kagyed Chaam celebration of monarchical Sikkim in the visuals of much awaited documentary of Satyajit Ray.
Monks performing Kagyad Chaam at Enchey Monastery Gangtok
With full of religious fervour this year also Kagyed Chaam was performed in a majestic comportment at Enchey Monastery Gangtok. The pictures with this post are taken by Tashi Wangyal Denzongpa at Enchey Monastery. I am thankful to him for sharing these pictures.
The above post has been published on Rajen Upadhyaya’s blog
About the author:
Rajen Upadhyay from Namchi, Sikkim is an Assistant Professor of History in the Namchi Government College. A passionate reader and sports enthusiast Rajen is working to revive the History of Sikkim. You can read his blog sikkim-historyhunter
Read other posts by Rajen Upadhyaya:
Sikkim Herald- Oldest surviving newspaper of Sikkim
Feudal Judicial System of Sikkim- A Brief Review
Late Lal Bahadur Basnet: An unforgettable Sikkimese
Pandit Nehru’s 24 hours visit to Sikkim on Dec 28, 1957
Sikkim’s Bal Bahadur Rai: For whom art is passion