Festivals are an integral part of Bhutanese culture, and they are celebrated throughout the year. Called Tshechus, the festivals are held to honor Guru Rinpoche, the Buddhist saint who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century. Here are some things you should know about festivals in Bhutan:
1. Dates: The dates of Tshechus are determined by the Bhutanese lunar calendar and vary from year to year.
2. Locations: Tshechus are held in different parts of Bhutan, with each location having its unique traditions and celebrations.
3. Duration: Tshechus usually last for three to five days, with the main day falling on the 10th day of the lunar month.
4. Performances: The highlight of Tshechus is the colorful and vibrant mask dances, performed by monks and laypeople. The dances tell stories from Buddhist mythology and have significant cultural and religious importance.
5. Attire: Bhutanese people dress up in their finest clothes and jewelry during Tshechus. Men wear the traditional Gho, while women wear the Kira.
6. Food: During Tshechus, people enjoy traditional Bhutanese food, such as Ema Datshi (a spicy cheese curry), ChhuGo (dried cheese), and Pagsha and Nosha (beef and pork).
7. Significance: Tshechus have significant cultural and religious importance in Bhutan, as they provide an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate their traditions and values.
Overall, Tshechus are a must-see celebration in Bhutan, as they provide an opportunity to experience the country’s rich cultural heritage firsthand.