Photo of the Day (9.28.08)

Oh great, Gadling is picking Halloween photos already!? Thankfully not. Flickr user arunchs captured this fearsome character in the far northern reaches of India. My first reaction was very much a visceral one – I was particularly taken by the mask’s bold red color, spindly dark horns and striking, hypnotic eyes.

But my second reaction was one of curiosity. For what purpose is our subject wearing this headgarb? From what I can tell in arunchs’ caption, the mask is typically worn during a Cham Dance ritual, a Buddhist ceremony involving elaborate dances and “moral instruction.” Though the dance is most common among the Buddhists of Tibet, the photo’s caption indicates it was taken in Keylong, an Indian city near the Tibetan border.

Have any pictures of fearsome ceremonial masks from your travels? Or even just some fearsome snorkel gear? Why not share it with us by adding it our Gadling pool on Flickr? We might just pick it as our Photo of the Day.