A oracle dancing in trance on a ledge at the Thiksey monastery during its annual Gustor festival
Undoubtedly the most special moment of the festival is when the Oracle appears. A chosen lama is possessed by a certain deity during the day of the festival and he goes into aÂ tranceÂ state. The possessed lama then answers questions put forth by the people regarding the future prospects for ladakh and the local village for the coming year. He is also said to sometimes answer personal question put forth by the public but puts on a "frenzied display of anger" when asked skeptical questions designed to test him
While in the trance state the oracle also performs astounding feats of acrobatics like dancing on the end of a ledge high up in the monastery (sometimes blindfolded) and even cutting themselves with knives (they supposedly heals the next day when the lama wakes up in the morning).