The Cham Dance, associated with some sects of Buddhism, is a lively dance which employs dancers wearing masks and ornamented costumes. The dance is accompanied by music played by monks using traditional Tibetan instruments. The dances often offer moral instruction relating to non-harm to sentient beings and are said to bring merit to all who observe them.
In countries such as Bhutan, the dances are performed during an annual religious festival known as Tsechu, which is held in each district. At certain festivals a large painting known as a thongdrol is also briefly unfurled. The simple viewing of the thongdrol is believed to carry such merit as to free the observer from all present sin.
Cham dances are considered illegal in Tibet by the governing body of the Peoples Republic of China. Cham