Thimphu Festival Tsechu : Be A Part Of The Festive Spirit Of Bhutan
Tsechu is undoubtedly the most celebrated festival in the country of Bhutan. It is a religious festival which is held annually in all the districts or dzongkhags of Bhutan on the tenth day of a month according to the lunar calender. The time of Tsechu varies from district to district. The Tsechu is a social gathering of sorts that strengthen the bond between people staying remote and far off places in Bhutan.
The central highlight of the tsechus are the cham dances. These dances are performed by a dancers wearing costumes and masks dances and are typically moral vignettes. These dances are also based on the life incidents of the 9th century Nyingma teacher Padmasambhava and other saints.
It is common for most tshechus to unfurl a thongdrel which is a large appliqu� thangka. The thangka usually depicts a seated Padmasambhava encircled by holy beings.It is believed that if a person merely catches a view of the thangka, he or she is cleansed of sin. According to traditions the thongdrel is raised before dawn and rolled down by morning.
The festival of tsechu mainly depends on the availability of dancers since the ritual dance is the main highlight of the festival. Therefore registered dancers are fined if they refuse to perform during the festival.
Tsechus are not mere entertainment events which are held as attractions for tourists. They are the authentic manifestations of religious traditions dating back to hundreds of years before. It is a privilege that today people from outside are given a chance to witness these sacred rituals and rites. The people of Bhutan sincerely hope that by offering the privilege to the outsiders to get an insight into their culture, they would refrain from infringing on the sanctity or exquisiteness of the ritual.
Our trip is based on the Thimphu Tashichhodzong where we let our clients witness and be a part of the Annual Thimphu Tshechu. The Thimphu Tashichhodzong is a four day festival which was initiated by Tenzin Rabgye who was the fourth Desi or temporal Ruler of Bhutan in the year 1687. On the day of the festival all the folks from every nook and corners of the city of Thimphu, villages and also from some other towns gather together dressed in their finest dresses to rejoice in the spirit of this festival. Just like tsechus in other districts of Bhutan, various mask dances are performed during the Thimphu tsechu as well.