Paro Tshechu Festival Tour

The festivals in Bhutan have a reputation for being raucous, joyous affairs, but they are holy spiritual events with attendees gaining merit for the next life. Tshechus dedicated to Guru Rimpoche are celebrated for several days between three and five according to the location. The highlight are the classical, religious – based dances and in some Tshechus the viewing of the Thongdrel (a huge and sacred thanka). In a few important Dzongs, two large festivals take place each year; a Dromche, which is dedicated to Yeshe Gompo or Palden Lhama, the two main protective deities of the Drukpas.

The most popular of the Tshechus are held in Thimpu, Paro and Bumthang. They mark the busiest time of the year for the tourism industry. The Dzongs come to life with colour, music and dancing as valley dwellers and townsfolk dress in their finest clothes and join together to exorcise evil spirits and rejoice in a new harvest. Rare masked dances and other rituals are performed in dzong courtyards and temples. Most of the dances date back from before the middle ages and are only performed once or twice a year. Each dance has its own spiritual importance and can be performed by monks and lay village elders dressed in bright costumes. Certain festivals end with the unveiling and worship of a huge religious appliqués (large thankas) or throndrols which means “liberation on sight” and are embroidered rather than painted. The moment of the unveiling is shrouded in secrecy and creates great excitement among the participants.

Tourists are allowed into the Dzongs to watch the festivals but are not allowed into the inner sanctuaries. Photography should always be discreet. It is generally allowed for photographs to be taken at Tshechus but prohibited at Dromchoes.

The following program is organized to allow visitors to experience Bhutan and participate in one of their most important festival – The Paro Tshechu. Briefed in the program are the festival schedule and sequences of dances at this Tshechu. Most dances are the same at other Tsechus, but the sequence varies.

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 02: Sightseeing Tour of Kathmandu. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 03: Fly Kathmandu to Paro. Dinner & Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 04: Paro Tshechu Festival. Dinner & Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 05: Paro Tshechu Festival. Dinner & Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 06: Paro (Visit Taktsang Gompa). Dinner & Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 07: Paro / Thimpu. Dinner & Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 08: Sightseeing in Thimpu and drive to Punakha. Dinner & Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 09: Punakha / Thimpu. Dinner & Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 10: Thimpu / Paro. Dinner & Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 11: Fly Paro to Kathmandu. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 12: Free day in Kathmandu. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 13: Final Departure.

Dhaulagiri Region

Kanchenjunga Region

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