Shaman Festival Rebkong Amdo, Eastern Tibet - 2018
The third day of the festival was a heady atmosphere of falling rain, and air thick with mist and smoke from the burning juniper leaves incense. The shaman in a trance, danced and twirled through the back lanes of the small village. Crowds of local villagers participated in the dancing and blessings from the shaman. As the shaman became possessed by the mountain God, his two helpers steadied him as his dancing became more frenetic. The throwing of colourful papers into the air represents good fortune. An important ritual of the festival is when the Shaman, on behalf of the mountain God, gives blessings for a good harvest by piercing a thick steel needle into the cheeks of young male participants, who then continue their circular dancing.