It was a mid-winter morning. When the sun was on the rise, sounds of chanting scripture, crashing cymbals and rumbling drums come from the Ganden Sumtsenling Monastery that lies near the Naizi River.
On January 5, the Ganden Sumtsenling Monastery in Shangri-La, northwest Yunnan’s Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, ushered in its annual grand event, the Gedong Festival. The festival is a traditional occasion where Tibetans celebrate bumper harvests and pray for auspiciousness in the new year.
Thousands of Tibetans, as well as tourists from around the world, gathered at the temple for a grand occasion. Tibetan Buddhist devotees were dressed in brilliant hues of pink and blue, while Lamas young and old mixed with festival-goers wearing traditional garb to watch the religious Cham dances.
Masked, costumed monks portrayed a host of ghosts and deities from the pantheon of Tibetan Buddhist mythology, and they danced outdoors to the sounds of traditional instruments played by lamas.