Events and Festivals of Bhutan

There are many festivals held at different locations at different times of the year. The best known of the festivals are "Tshechus" which are celebrated in honour of Guru Padmasambhava commemorating his great deeds. Popularly known as "Guru Rimpoche". Rhis Indian saint contributed enormously to the diffusion of Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan region of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan around 800 AD.

Guru Padmasambhava is founder of the Nyingmapa, the old school of Lamaism, which still has numerous followers. The biography of Guru is highlighted by 12 episodes on the model of Buddha Shakyamuni's life.

"Tshechu" which has become the name of very popular festival commemorate each episode around the year on the 10th day of the month. The dates and the duration of festival vary from one place to another but they all take place on or around 10th day of the month according to Bhutanese calendar.

Tshechus are celebrated for several days, between three and five according to location, and are the occasion for dances that are clearly defined in religious content. Both monks as well as laymen take part in these dances which are performed in a similar manner at each of the Tshechus. Certain Tshechus end with the worship of a huge applique Thangkha representing Guru Rimpoche and his eight manifestations. It is called 'THONGDROEL' and is believed that simply by viewing it people can be delivered from the cycle of reincarnations. The Bhutanese people attach great importance to festivals, which allow them to become immersed in their religion and gain merit, and it is because of this importance that the festivals are so well preserved. These events are also a time for the local people to socialize, to laugh, to joke with their neighbors and acquaintances, to dress in their finest clothes and jewelry, to eat well and generally to have good time.