Bhutan Festival visits.

At different times of the year, annual festivals known as “Tsechus” take place in different locations around the kingdom. Tsechus are festivals extolling the great deeds of the Buddhist saint Padsambhava, who is also known as “Guru Rinpoche”. As these great deeds are believed to have all taken place on the 10th day of a month in the Bhutanese lunar calendar, so all Tsechus take place around the 10th day of the month – in fact, the word “Tsechu” means “the 10th day”. All districts, and a large number of villages in the east, have annual Tsechu festivals which attract people from various places. Tsechus are celebrated for several days (three to five).The dances at the festival are being performed by monks, laymen or Gomchens, and the repertory is practically the same everywhere. Some Tsechus end with the displaying of a huge appliqué Thanka called “Thongdroel”. The Thongdroel is unveiled at first light to bring enlightenment to all who view it. The faithful believe that by simply viewing this Thongdroel, they can be delivered from the cycle of reincarnations. For the Bhutanese, religious festivals offer an opportunity to become immersed in the meaning of their religion and gain much merit but they are also occasions for seeing people, and being seen.

Festival Dances in Bhutan

Festival Dances in Bhutan

People wear their finest clothes, their most beautiful jewels; they take out picnics rich with meat and alcohol. Men and women joke and flirt. An atmosphere of convivial, slightly ribald good humor prevails. Some trips focus on a particular festival while others incorporate a festival into a longer itinerary. Attending a festival can be an interesting way to observe Bhutanese culture as they are joyous and very colorful occasions. The larger festivals in Paro, Thimphu and Wangdiphodrang are now attracting so many people, be it foreign visitors or locals. If you visit Bhutan when these festivals are taking place, you should expect to see many other travelers. Actually, if you are here for a smaller village festival, the atmosphere tends to be more relaxed when the tourism infrastructure is not operating at its maximum capacity.

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