Tshechu or Festivals:

Festivals or Tshechu (“tenth day”) are Bhutanese festivals held every year in various temples monasteries and dzongs across the country. The Tshechu is mainly a religious event celebrated on tenth day of a month of lunar calendar corresponding to the birthday of Guru Rinpoche (Guru Padmasambhava). However the month of Tshechu depends from place to place and temple to temple.

Tshechus are large social gatherings where people from various villages come together to witness the religious mask dances which are based on incidents from as long as 8th century from the life of Guru Padmasambhava and to receive blessings from lamas. The event also consists of colorful Bhutanese dances and other entertainments. The dances are known as Cham and are performed to bless onlookers, to teach them the Buddhist dharma, to protect them from misfortune and to exorcise all evil, the dancers who take on the aspects of wrathful and compassionate deities, heroes, demons and animals do this. Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel and Pema Lingpa were main figures who composed many of the dances. It is believed that merit is gained by attending these religious festivals.

The dances invoke the deities to wipe out misfortunes, increase luck and general personal wishes. Onlookers rarely fail to notice the Atsara or clowns who move through the crowds, mimicking the dancers and performing comic routines in their masks with the long red noses. A group of ladies perform traditional Bhutanese dances during the intervals between masked dances.

An auspicious event of the many of the Tshechus is the in furling of the Thongdrel from the building overlooking the dance area. This is done before sunrise and most people rush to witness the moment. Thongdrols are large Thangkas or religious pictures that re usually embroidered rather than painted. The word itself means, “Liberation on sight”. It is believed that sins are wiped away simply by viewing it.
Every mask dances performed during Tshechu has a meaning or a story behind. In monasteries the mask dances are performed by monks and in remote villages they are performed jointly by monks and village men. Besides the locals many tourists from across the world are attracted to this unique, colorful and exciting culture.

Tentative Festival Dates for 2015

Tentative Festival Dates for 2015

FESTIVAL

PLACE

DATES

1

TAKIN FESTIVAL

Damji, GASA

21st February

2

NOMAD FESTIVAL

Nagsephel, BUMTHANG

22nd February

3

Bhutan International Marathon

(Annual Event organized by BOC)

23rd February

4

PUNAKHA DRUBCHEN

Punakha Dzong, PUNAKHA

23rd – 27th February

5

PUNAKHA TSHECHU

Punakha Dzong, PUNAKHA

28th February – 2nd March

6

THARPALING THONGDROL

Tharpaling Lhakhang, Chummi, BUMTHANG

5th March,

7

CHHORTEN KORA

Chorten Kora, TRASHIYANGTSHE

5th March & 20th March

8

GOMPHUKORA

Gom Kora Lhakhang, TRASHIGANG

27th – 29th March

9

TALO TSHECHU

Talo Gonpa, PUNAKHA

27th – 29th March

10

GASA TSHECHU

Gasa Dzong, GASA

27th – 30th March

11

ZHEMGANG TSHECHU

Zhemgang Dzong, ZHEMGANG

27th – 30th March

12

PARO TSHECHU

Rinpung Dzong, PARO

31st March – 4th April

13

RHODODENDRON FESTIVAL

Lamperi Botanical Garden, Dochula, THIMPHU

18th – 20th April

14

DOMKHAR TSHECHU

Domkhar, Chummi, BUMTHANG

28th – 30th April

15

URA YAKCHOE

Ura Lhakhang, BUMTHANG

30th April – 4th May

16

NIMALUNG TSHECHU

Nimalung Dratshang, Chummi, BUMTHANG

24th – 26th June

17

KURJEY TSHECHU

Kurjey Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG

26th June

18

HAA SUMMER FESTIVAL

Town Festival Ground, HAA

4th – 5th July

19

MASUTAKI MUSHROOM FESTIVAL

Ura, BUMTHANG

22nd– 23rd August

20

TOUR OF THE DRAGON (BICYCLE RACE)

Bumthang to Thimphu

5th September

21

THIMPHU DRUBCHEN

Tashi Chhodzong, THIMPHU

18th – 22nd September

22

WANGDUE TSHECHU

Tencholing Army Ground, WANGDUEPHODRANG

21st – 23rd September

23

GANGTEY TSHECHU

Gangtey Gonpa, Phobjikha, WANGDUEPHODRANG

21st – 23rd September

24

TAMSHING PHALA CHHOEPA

Tamshing Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG

23rd – 25th September

25

THIMPHU TSHECHU

Tashi Chhodzong, THIMPHU

23rd – 25th September

26

THANGBI MANI

Tangbi Lhakhang, Choekor, BUMTHANG

27th – 29th October

27

CHHUKHA TSHECHU

Chhukha Dzong, CHHUKHA

20th – 22nd October

28

JAKAR TSHECHU

Jakar Dzong, Choekhor, BUMTHANG

20th– 23rd October

29

PEMAGATSHEL TSHECHU

Pemagatshel Dzong, PEMAGATSHEL

20th – 23rd October

30

JAMBAY LHAKHANG DRUP

Jambay Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG

27th – 30th October

31

PRAKHAR DUCHHOED

Prakar Lhakhang, Chummi, BUMTHANG

28th – 30th October

32

BLACK NECKED CRANE FESTIVAL

Gangtey Gonpa, Phobjikha, WANGDUEPHODRANG

11th November

33

MONGAR TSHECHU

Mongar Dzong, MONGAR

18th – 21st November

34

TRASHIGANG TSHECHU

Trashigang Dzong, TRASHIGANG

19th – 22nd November

35

JAMBAY LAKHANG SINGYE CHAM

Jambay Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG

25th November

36

NALAKHAR TSHECHU

Ngaa Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG

25th – 27th November

37

DRUK WANGYEL TSHECHU

Dochula, THIMPHU

13th December

38

TRONGSA TSHECHU

Trongsa Dzong, TRONGSA

20th – 22nd December

39

LHUENTSE TSHECHU

Lhuentse Dzong, LHUENTSE

20th – 22nd December

40

NABJI LHAKHANG DRUP

Nabji Lhakhang, Nabji, TRONGSA

25th – 27th December

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