GU-STOR

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Location: Ladakh Region, J&K
Significance: Traditional Celebration Of The Monasteries Of The Reformist Geluk-Pa Order Of Tibetan Buddhism.



The Victory Of Black Hat Dancers Over Evil
Gu-Stor literally means 'Sacrifice of the 29th day'. It is traditional to the monasteries of the reformist Geluk-pa order of Tibetan Buddhism. This two-day long festival is held mainly in the Spituk, Thiksay (also spelt as Thiksey) and Karsha (Zanskar) monasteries, at different times every year.

The celebration ends with the dismemberment and dispersal of the 'Storma '(sacrificial cake) by the leader of the Black Hat dancers in a ceremony called 'Afghan' or 'Killing'.'.. This symbolises the destruction of all forms of evil. And also re-enacts the assassination of the Tibetan apostate King Lang-dar-ma, by a Buddhist monk in the mid 9th century.

In Some monasteries, an effigy symbolising the stronger forces of evil is burnt at the end of the festival. The masks worn by the dancers represent the guardian divinities (Dharmapalas) of the Buddhist pantheon, and the patron divinities of the Geluk-pa order.



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