Festivals of Bhutan
Tshechu is a religious festival meaning “tenth day” held annually in various temples, monasteries and Dzongs throughout the country.
The Tshechu is a socio-religious event celebrated on the tenth day of a month of the lunar calendar corresponding to the birthday of Guru Rimpoche (guru Padmasambhava). However the exact month of the Tshechu varies from place to place and temple to temple.
Tshechu are grand events where entire communities come together to witness religious mask dances, receive blessings and socialize. In addition to the mask dances Thsechus also include colorful Bhutanese dances and other forms of entertainment. This occasion also serves to bring together families and relatives – from wherever they are – once a year.
Bhutanese men and women attend these festivals wearing either very best dresses and adorned in jewelry Bhutanese people believe that everyone must attend a Tshechu and witness the mask dances at least once in order to receive blessings and wash away their sins.
Every mask dance performed during Tshechu has a special meaning or a story behind it and many are based on stories and incidents from as long as the 8th century, during the life of Guru Padmasambhava.
Two of the most popular Tshechus in the country are those that are held in Paro and Thimphu – in terms of participation and audience. Besides the locals many tourists from across the world are attracted to these unique, colorful and exciting displays of traditional culture.