Bhutan is the land of people who are deeply associated
with their age-long customs and festivals. These festivals bring smile on
their faces. The Bhutanese celebrate their festivals with huge fanfare. They
dance, sing and eat, and follow plethora of customs which are inextricably
associated with these festivals. Watching them perform these festivals is a
delightful and intriguing sight.
Dromche (festival) generally include dances and this festival is dedicated
to Yeshe Gompo (Mahakala) or Palden Lhamo, the two main protective deities
of Drukpas (Drukpas = means people of Druk land or Bhutanese). Punakha
Dromche take place in the first month of the lunar year and ends with
'Serda', a magnificent procession which re-enacts an episode of the war
against the Tibetan in the 17th century.
Jambay Lhakhang Drup
The festival is held for duel reasons; to commemorate an establishment of
Jambay Lhakhang (temple) in 7 th century and to honor Guru Rimpoche, a saint
who introduced Tantric form of Buddhism in Bhutan . A variety of traditional
and mask dances are performed and each dance bear significant
This festival is one of the most important in Bhutan and its high light is
the 'Mewang" - the fire ceremony and the " Tercham" - a
religious dance. A fire dance is held in the evening to bless infertile
women so that they may bear children.
There is a sequence of dances at Paro Tshechu. Most dances are the same at
others Tshechus, but the sequence varies. On day one is Shinje Yab Yum,
dance of the lord of death and his consort. The costume is of buffalo mask
and long brocade dress. The day two begins with "chipdrel"
traditional reception. The Astara (clown) welcomes the audience with the
marchang ceremony. The the mask dances begin
Thimpu festival is the festival of dances. Some of these dances are shacham
or the dance of the four stag, pelage gingsum or the dance of the three
kinds of ging, pacham or the dance of the heroes, shawo shachi or dance of
the stags and the hounds, dranyeo cham or dance with guitar, shana or black
dance, shaa nga cham or dance of the 21 black hats with drum and, pholeg
moleg or dance of the noblemen and the ladies.
Tshechu is festival honouring Guru Padsambhava - 'one who was born from
lotus flower'. This Indian saint contributed enormously to the diffusion of
Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan etc.
around 800 A.D. He is the founder of the Nyingmapa, the 'old school' of
Lamaism which still has numerous followers.
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