Thimphu Day 2 (Thimphu Tshechu):
Thimphu Festival ..
This is the day I’d been waiting for nearly six months. We had booked our itinerary specially keeping Thimphu festival in mind. This festival also known as Tshechu is a grand religious festival celebrated in honor of the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche). It is held annually on the 10th day of the lunar calendar month of Guru’s birthday. The festival takes place in the central courtyard of the Thimphu Dzong. The monks in Thimphu Dzong dress up and perform mask dances to depict many traditional folklore’s. Equally important is the role of Atsaras, men dressed up like clowns, who collect money from the people. People are more than willing to give away small amounts of money to Atsaras to protect them from evil forces. It is also common to see the whole town, specially ladies dressed up in traditional Kira dresses.
The festival goes on for the full day and you can enjoy as long as you want. The residents and tourists in Thimphu all throng into the festival so I highly recommend going early in the day (about 7AM) and carry water bottle, umbrella’s (to protect from sun), eatables as there are very few items available during the show. Make sure you get yourself a good view point, preferably away from the sun to enjoy the day. We spent about 4 hours at the festival before we headed back.
We stopped by to enjoy the Thimphu Dzong, it is beautifully located on the banks of Wang Chhu river with mountainous back drop. It houses some of the Government offices and gives a great opportunity for a photo-op and to enjoy the old Bhutanese architecture. I suggest keeping about an hour to enjoy the Dzong.
I thoroughly enjoyed the day and would absolutely recommend being part of these festivities in Thimphu. We relaxed rest of the day talking about the dances, festivities.
Read Day 1 in Bhutan here.
See more pictures of the festival and Thimpu Dzong here.
Read more about our Bhutan Trip in following articles