Land of the Thunder Dragon
Tsechus are religious festivals typically 3-4 days long held in every Bhutanese town or district in honour of Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava, who brought Tantric Buddhism to the Himalayan regions of Bhutan, Tibet, Nepal and Ladakh around 800 A.D.. Tsechus first arose in the 16th century and comprise of dances depicting stories of Guru Rinpoche's life and exploits, as well as moral tales and folklore. Bhutanese believe that by watching a tsechu, they gain religious merits. When tsechu is held in a district, public holidays will be proclaim and everyone dress in their best national costumes to go to the dzong to watch the tsechus. Sept/Oct is the period with the largest tsechus, hence the most popular time of the year for tourists to visit Bhutan.
The grandest tsechu in Bhutan is that held in Thimphu, but it is also the most crowded and police make sure rules on security and public order are properly enforced. It would be most ideal to attend the tsechu in Thimphu as well as the one in Wangdue Phodrang as both tsechu are held around the same period.
The spectacular Black Hat Dance (Shana Cham)
- depicting powerful yogis with the power to create and destroy life. The yogis first form a mandala, cut demons into pieces, take possession of the world to protect it and then dance the sacred "steps of the thunderbolt". An important dance that is also used in purification ceremonies during the construction of Dzongs, temples, chortens.
Black Hat Dance with Drums (Shana Nga Cham)
this site: In
honour of the victory the religion over the enemies, the Black Hats beat the
drums, the sound of which resounds throughout the three worlds.
Dance of the Drums of Drametse (Dramitse Ngacham)
- Another amazing ancient religious dance from Bhutan - A vision seen by 15th cent Another amazing ancient religious dance from Bhutan - A vision seen by 15th century nun in which she saw the attendants of Guru Rimpoche performing a dance. Dancers in animal masks and colourful costumes
Also from the Dance of the Drums of Drametse (Dramitse Ngacham)
A Kyecham - another dramatic mask dance
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|Lonely Planet South East Asia||Lonely Planet Bhutan|
Tan Wee Cheng 2006