The Festivals in Bhutan are very colorful with colorful robes for mask dances and colorful attire with beautiful designs for cultural dances. It is also the social occasion where people will be dress up in their finest clothes that they have and get chance to be together with friends and families after busy work or harvest. The festival is known as tsechu (meaning 10th day of every month of lunar calendar) which is mainly celebrated as the birthday of Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padmasambhava), however tshechu time differs from place to place and temple to temple.
Tshechu consists of mask dances, cultural dances and other entertainments based on the mythological interpretation and oral history which has been pass down from generations.
Many people gather in the festival to get blessing from the glimpse of mask dances as Buddhist believes that having glimpse itself of the dances have benefit of getting lot of merits and to remove sins committed.
Buddhist teachings are imparted to the large gathering of the crowd through dramatization in the form of mask dances so that even the lay people can understand. Bhutanese believe in rebirth and karma (deeds) so in the dance of Intermediate state (Bardo) which showcase the life after dead and judgment by the lord of dead and accordingly sent to heaven, different realms or hells according to one’s accumulated deeds and sins committed during their lifetimes.
Visit Tshechu and festivals to have in depth understanding of Bhutanese culture and traditions
Schedule during Tshechu
Each day of the four-day festival is set out and generally consists of the following dances.