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Celebrated annually on the tenth day of the Tse-Chu, the lunar month in the Tibetan calendar, Hemis Festival is a two-day event. It marks the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, the Indian Buddhist mystic. This festival is held in the Hemis Monastery, which is beautifully decorated for the occasion. Locals dress up in traditional attires and gather in the courtyard of the monastery. The lamas perform cham or masked dances to the beats of drums, cymbals and horns. Sometimes plays are enacted to the amusement of the spectators. The vibrant costumes donned by the lamas are a particular highlight of the festival. Their long gowns, striking masks and elaborate headgears come together to make their performances more enchanting. Interestingly, every mask holds a special significance.