The festival is dedicated to Mt Kanchendzonga, the guardian deity of Sikkim.
Legend has it that he made sure the Treaty of Brotherhood was signed between the Lepchas and the Bhutias. The whole story of how the treaty was signed keeping the guardian deities as witness is re-enacted in the Chaam dance using elaborate costumes and masks. The deity is shown wearing a crown of five skulls and riding a snow lion. The whole performance is a choreographed warrior dance with intricate steps.