The Tshechu is a festival honouring Guru Padmasambhava, “one who was born from a lotus flower”. This Indian saint contributed to the diffusion of Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan around 800 AD. He is the founder of the Nyingmapa, the “old school” of Lamaism, which still has numerous followers. The dates and the duration of the festivals vary from one district to another but they always take place on or around the 10th day of the month according to the Bhutanese calendar. Some tshechu dates change without any notification due to astrologer predictions – this is out of our control and we regret any inconveniences caused.
Such religious festivals commemorating the deeds of the Buddha are an integral part of Bhutanese life and tradition. The Paro Tshechu is in the spring and the Wangdue and Thimphu Tshechus take place in the fall are some of the more impressive religious festivals in Bhutan. In recent years, the festivals in Bumthang and the east have also begun to attract tourists during the fall. Trongsa festival occurs around the New Year; it is a spectacular festival however you must dress for the colder temperatures.
The mask dances depicting various events in the cycle of life are very symbolic to the Bhutanese. The colorful costumes and masks add a lot of sanctity to the festivals in addition to the local Bhutanese arriving in their best national dress. Thongdrels or large thankhas are also unveiled during these festivals in the early morning hours. In order to view the unveiling of the Thongdrels one must be prepared to get up extremely early in the morning. The Paro Thongdrel is unveiled at 2:30 am with the largest crowds arriving between 3:00 am to 5:00am.
The religious festivals are not only occasions to renew faith and receive blessings and accumulate good Karma, but also opportunities for local people to take a break from working in the fields. It is also an opportunity to display their traditional dresses and ornaments and enjoy social picnics within the vicinity of the community Dzongs. Bhutanese believe that by attending the tshechu one gains merit for the next life.
These festivals are an excellent way to witness the religious aspect of Bhutanese life and to interact with the Bhutanese in all their finery. We request all our guests to respect the local people and their personal space and to act responsibly and respectfully while at a tshechus.
- Paro Tshechu
Duration: 8 Days.
- Thimphu Tshechu
Duration: 7 Days.
Jujubes wafer marshmallow ice cream. Sweet dragée tiramisu gingerbread toffee lollipop cotton candy chocolate cheesecake. Sweet cake muffin gingerbread powder chocolate. Pastry sesame snaps chupa chups pudding. Carrot cake cupcake chocolate danish applicake jujubes dragée chocolate. Biscuit ice cream croissant gummi bears liquorice pudding.