Paro Tsechu is one of the most anticipated Bhutanese festivals. It occurs in Paro City at the Paro Dzong. The festival was celebrated from the 17th of March to the 21st in 2019. The Tsechu is a great way to experience Bhutanese culture through art-forms like the Cham dance, Bhutanese Music and the mouth-watering food. It is celebrated to honor Guru Rinpoche and features festivities like costumed dances performed by the Lamas. This vibrant and colorful festival is visited by people from all over the world.
This beloved festival is celebrated for 5 days in the 2nd month of the Tibetan calendar at the Paro Dzong. Each day features different rituals and performances, the first of which consists mostly of prayer and pre-festive rituals. On the second day monks perform the famous dance drama, called Chams. The performances are known to depict ancient Buddhist folklore. The dance is a part of most Tibetan and Bhutanese festivals and is performed wearing large, colorful costumes and masks.
The three remaining days are celebrated on the festival grounds. People dress in silk robes and masks, there are people playing trumpets and flutes in celebration, and they celebrate the triumph of good over evil through little musical skits or dramas. Another highlight of the Tsechu is the unraveling of a large silk scroll – Thangka that can cover the face on an entire building. The sacred scroll is only on display for a few hours on the last day of the festivities.
OTHER THINGS TO SEE AND DO WHILE YOU’RE IN PARO
There are a whole lot of things to see in Paro, to keep your day’s itinerary full. The Ta Dzong Museum is home to many historical relics and artworks, and is great way to experience Bhutanese culture. The museum isn’t far from the Kyichu Lhakhang, a temple constructed in the 17th century. The temple is one of the 108 built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo, and is constructed in a similar manner to the Jokhang in Lhasa. Bhutan has plenty of exciting treks all around. The trek up to the Tiger’s nest Monastery is an experience you must include when in Paro. The Monastery is an absolute fan favorite among tourists that travel to this part of the world. The Monastery, built at 900 m above the ground, on the edge of a cliff, offers a scenic and tranquil experience.
Paro is great to visit around this time of the year, due to its festive atmosphere and the sheer energy of the place. The festivities, the people, and the food are absolutely to die for.
HOW TO GET TO PARO
By Road: Bhutan, sharing a border with India, isn’t a hard country to access. There are multiple points of entry into the country, but the most convenient of which, would be through the Jaigaon-Phuentsholing point. The entry is on the West Bengal-Bhutan border, and is 140kms f
rom Paro. The only blemish on an otherwise convenient mode of travel, is that the roads in the region aren’t always in excellent condition.
By Air: Fly to Bhutan and touchdown at the Paro airport, located conveniently close to many hotels and interesting sights. Paro is the only airport in Bhutan.
WHERE TO STAY
Paro has some great homestays to crash in at the end of the day. The Aum Om Homestay is a great option when it comes to finding accommodation during your stay. The home is located close to the Tiger’s nest, and has multiple sights and points of interest in close proximity.
To find great homestay experiences and Bhutan group tours, visit this site.
Paro isn’t the only city that hosts the Tsechu. The capital of Bhutan, Thimpu, is home to a huge festival just like the one at Paro.
Those of you that would like to experience the festivities for themselves should be sure to catch the Thimpu Tsechu.
The city of Thimpu plays host to another huge festival in Bhutanese culture – The Thimpu Tsechu. It has days of prayer and ritual leading up to it, but the actual festival is celebrated over three days, the first of which is on the 8th of October 2019. The whole city is dressed in their finest clothes and takes a break from their everyday lives. It’s a great time to interact with the locals and get an insight into Bhutanese culture.
The city appears really vibrant and colorful, from the outfits to the walls, making it a great time of the year to travel there with a camera in hand
Experience Bhutan during the festivities this year; Browse travel packages to the Himalayan Kingdom with Offbeat Tracks now.