THE Buddhist monks from the Tashilhunpo Monastery will be performing their sacred dance tradition (cham) in the gardens at Eyarth House on Sunday, July 9.

The monks have been visiting the village every few years since 2002, but this will be the first time they have been in five years due to the pandemic.

The dances are passed down orally from generation to generation and are an important feature of Tibetan monastic life. The monks wear colourful costumes made out of silk and brocade, together with masks which represent animals, deities and historical figures. They will perform a shortened version of several dances, each one a psychedelic whirl of chanting, dancing, drums, cymbals and trumpets.

In addition to the dance, the monks will create a mandala out of coloured sand, traditionally in Tibet they would have used powdered precious stones such as malachite and lapis lazuli. These are geometric designs representing a palace of a deity, surrounded by their retinues and are used in meditation. Once the mandala is complete, it has to be destroyed in a special ceremony and the sand returned to the elements, usually into running water for the benefit and blessing of all beings.

There are also workshops, interaction with the monks, stalls selling Tibetan artefacts, teas and you can try the Tibetan cuisine of momos.

Organiser Zara Fleming said: "What one will see on July 9th is not just a colourful spectacle, but dances of sacred significance. Not only for the monks who perform them, but it is also said to bring blessings to all those who witness them. And even if one cannot fully comprehend the symbolism, one can enjoy a glimpse of Tibetan culture which is now struggling for survival."

The gate will open at 2pm with the first performance at 3pm. There will then be an interval to go to workshops, stalls, teas etc and then a second performance. The event will close at 6pm.

Admission (cash only) is £8, children £2, and small children and toddlers free! There may be limited chairs, so please bring a rug or something to sit on, if needed.