During the Tshetchu Feastival, one figures stand above all. They can be seen in all corners of the Festival.  They are called “Atsara”.

The word Atsara is derived from Sanskrit word “Acharya” or the holy teacher. Its called dubthop in Dzongkha.

They are an indispensable part of the tshechu Festival. Their roles and significance transcends entertainment. They explain the meaning of mask dances to spectators, entertain them when dancers are in the changing room, and help control the crowd.

They correct the dancers if they make mistakes. They are masers of all mask dances.

According to religious history, about 84 dubthops (Mahasiddhas), who had extinguished all defilements and afflictions, roamed the universe to subdue evil thoughts by mocking worldly things.

Because, they are Mahasiddhas, they have overcome all the attachment and embarrassment. For them, the worldly environment are insignificant. They thus dressed weirdly, use vulgar and abusive language, witty, foolery, with objective to uproot evil from the minds of mortals. Sometimes, for a general public, it is bit embracing to watch their lewd act & jock in front of a family!

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#Atsara the #holy teacher