Bhutan ... Festivals





Festivals of Bhutan

(Dates of 2009 and 2010 are given)

Punakha Domchoe 03 - 05 Mar / 18 - 22 Feb
Punakha Tsechu 06 - 08 Mar 23 -25 Feb
Chorten Kora Tashi Yangtse 11 & 26 Mar 28 Feb -15 Mar
Gom Kora Tshechu Tashigang 02 - 04 April 23 - 25 Mar
Chhukha Tshechu 07 - 09 April 28 - 30 Mar
Paro Tshechu 05 - 09 April 26 - 30 Mar
Ura Tshechu Bumthang 05 - 09 May 24 - 28 April

Nimalung Tshechu Bumthang 30 Jun - 02 Jul / 19 - 21 June
Kurjey Tshechu Bumthang 02 Jul 21 June
Wangdu Tshechu 26 - 28 Sept 15 - 17 Sept
Tamshing Phala Choepa Bumthang 27 - 29 Sept 16 - 18 Sept
Thimphu Drupchen 23 - 27 Sep 12 - 16 Sept
Thimphu Tshechu 28 - 30 Sep 17 - 19 Sept
Tangbi Mani 03 - 05 Oct 22 - 24 Sept
Jambay Lakhang Drup Bumthang 02 - 06 Nov 22 - 26 Oct
Prakar Tshechu Bumthang 03 - 05 Nov 23 - 25 Oct

Ngalakhang Tshechu Bumthang 02 - 04 Dec / 21 -23 Nov
Mongar Tshechu 25 - 27 Nov 13 -16 Nov
Pemagatsel Tshechu 25 - 27 Nov 13 - 16 Nov
Tashigang Tshechu 26 - 28 Nov 14 - 17 Nov
Lhuntse Tshechu 05 - 07 Jan 15 - 17 Dec
Trongsa Tshechu 05 - 07 Jan / 15 - 17 Dec

- Festival Dates Published by Bhutan Tourism Bureau.
- All festival dates are calculated according to the Tibetan/Buddhist lunar calendar and are subject to change without notice by the local authorities.

source : www.visitnepal.com


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Bhutanese people celebrate different festivals
like the Bhutanese New Year and other seasonal festivals like the summer solstice etc. But the most common festival is known as Tshechu. It is in fact a religious festival, and is celebrated all over Bhutan, usually after the end of the harvest season. The Thimphu Tshechu in the capital of Bhutan is held in mid September.
The main highlight of the Tshechu is the performance of the masked dances by the monks. There are many kinds of maksed dances all involving different moves, masks and costumes. All of them special religious significances.

According to legend, all these dances appeared in the past Buddhist master's vision during their meditation. The steps and moves are strictly followed as it was performed in the past. Alteration of the steps is seen as sacrilegious and would not be attempted by any masked dance teacher.

source : www.world66.com

Related words

***** Tsechu Spring Festival




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Anonymous said...


Festivals in the Land of Thunder Dragon are rich and happy expressions of its ancient Buddhist culture. These festivals are held in all districts in honour of Guru Rinpoche, the saint who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century, Festivals are held on tenth day of the particular month in the Bhutanese calendar and last up to four days in which a series of high stylized mask dance rituals are performed.Festivals are also a big family and social occasions. People dress up in their finest clothes and most resplendent jewelry of coral and turquoise. They pack picnic lunches in their traditional bamboo baskets and stay all day at the festivals which are usually held in the dzongs(fortress)or at monasteries.

Behind the scenes, the monks prepare themselves for weeks ahead of the festival, involved in deep prayer and meditation prior to the festival. The monks perform special masked dances that are inspirations of enlightened beings in history and the Bhutanese believe that watching these mystical dances is essential to gain enlightenment. All Bhutanese try to attain a festival at least once in a lifetime, and for many, it is an important annual affair where they consider it a blessing to be able to watch the dances. Apart from the monks, community dancers also participate in the local festivals.

The festivals are a rich form of the oral history tradition where the Bhutanese pass on values, mythology and spiritual beliefs through the mask dance dramas. Many of the tsechus culminate with a rare display of giant silk appliqué thangkha(painting)depicting Guru Padmasambava or other important Buddhist deity.

People’s deep faith and devotion make these festivals a special occasion. At the same time, it is also an opportunity to join hundreds and even thousands of Bhutanese in taking part in an important religious and social occasion that often exudes a carnival atmosphere. Besides the dancers and musicians, a key character at the Tshechu is the atsara.These clowns who wear dramatically expressive masks with big red noses and are an indispensable element in the otherwise solemn and sometimes tedious ceremony. Their exaggerated gestures and irreverent jokes provide comic relief when the audience gets restive and only they are allowed to confront the monks and mock the religion.

They are actually treated with great respect as they believed to be representatives of the ancient acharyas-the sanskrit word for religious teachers.