The Demon (Lakhe) dance is one of the ancient cultural dance of Kathmandu, Nepal. The dance ceremony is held every year in special occassions. The Word “Lakhe” means the demon among dieties. It has been preserved by the Newar communities of Kathmandu valley. It is believed that the tradition of Lakhe dance was practiced from the very beginning period of Malla regime. Mallas have played significant role in the history of promoting the Newari Culture of Kathmandu Valley.
The lakhe dances wearing a huge red, terrifying mask with prominent, bawdy eyes. Protruding fangs, serrated teeth, and a dark red wig complete the awe-inspiring countenance of the man-eating demon as he dances and thrashes his limbs. But the shape & size of the mask differs from one Newari community to another. They have their own distinctive identity. But in one community there must be two Demons dancing in the festivals as Gai Jatra, Indra Jatra, Barha Barse Mela & Nawa Durga Puga. One Demon represents teaser who always teases the another Demon. People also believe that the spirit of demon resides in the mask. As they put on the mask, the demon spirit will take over the dancer’s body and dictates the body movement.