Paro Tsehchu

By | Category: Travel destinations

Should you happen to be trekking in Bhutan over Easter then you have it timed it perfectly to enjoy a festival called Tshechu.

This festival honours Guru Padsambhava – ‘one who was born from lotus flower’. who contributed to the spread of Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan over a thousand years ago.

Paro Tsehchu is considered a major attraction and people travel from neighbouring districts to participate in the festivity. During the time (7-11th of April) dances are performed by monks as well as laymen. It is also a yearly social gathering where the people, dressed in all their finery, come together. It ends with early morning unfurling of a Thongdrel  – an embroidered painting which is an example of Buddhist art and considered to be so sacred that simply seeing one is said to cleanse the viewer of sin.

There are a variety of different but connecting stories that form part of the festival and her are just a few to give you a flavour of the celebration:

  • Shinje Yab Yum – Dance of the Lord of Death and his Consort
  • Durdag – Dance of the Lords of the Cremation Grounds
  • Zshana – Dance of the Black Hats
  • Degye – Dance of the eight kinds of Spirits
  • Tungam – Dance of the Terrifying Deities
  • Shawa Shachhi – Lencham: Dance of the Stag and the Hounds
  • Sha Tsam – Dance of the four Stags
  • Raksha Mangcham – Dance of the Judgement of the Dead

In additional there will be a series of religious songs called Chhoshey that will be sung throughout the festival. The singers, wearing long black skirts, yellow shirts, folded brown coats, felt boots also don a circular head-dress and carry a sword.

For more about Bhutan, click here.

 

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