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Festivals in Bhutan

Our country is known for its colorful festivals, taking place at different times of the year at different regions. The most popular is the “Tshechu” known to attract people in their best attires. It is a religious festival based in Buddhism. This festival is celebrated on the 10th day of a particular month. This festival is celebrated for several days ranging for three days to fine days. During this festival various folk dances, masks dances known as “Cham” and other theatrical performance consisting, epics of saints are performed. Monks, and laymen from the locality will perform these dances.

The Atsaras or the clowns, with their hysterical expressive masks, lighten the festival up, and they are an indispensable part of the festival. They distract the crowds, often with vulgar jokes. It is believed that Atsaras represent Acharayas (Buddhist masters in ancient India) The clowns have the freedom to express and plays an important role in the festival.

Some of the Tshechu ends with a display if a huge Scroll called “Thongdroel” (Enlightenment at Sight). This beautifully embroidered Scroll is unveiled in a huge ceremony on the facade of the huge Dzongs. This ceremony, followed by devotees lining up to view this magnificent peace of art is a scene to be witnessed. The festivals bring the Bhutanese people to immerse into understanding Buddhism and gain merit. The festivals also gives people a chance to celebrate their successful harvest, wear beautiful jewelries and enjoy picnic with family members and friends. The foods usually comprise of red rice, dried meats cooked with radish and dried red chilies. This gives the people to meet with each other and interact, joke and flirt.