Gods and Sacred Mountains | Guru Rinpoche | The Dance in Honor of the Guru

The Tshechu - The Dance for the Gods, for You and Me

Annually, on the tenth day of a certain month, every region of Bhutan celebrates the birthday of Guru Rinpoche with a big dance festival of the monks (tshechu*). For example, in Thimphu, the tshechu* traditionally takes place on the tenth day of the sixth month and in Paro on the tenth day of the first month of the lunar calendar.

For most of Bhutanese, these festivities mark the pinnacle of their annual cycle. Many come from afar in order to be part of the spectacular events in the monastery (dzong*) of their province. These festivities last at least three to five days. Women and men wear their best clothes and their most beautiful jewelry.

By their attendance of a tshechu*, the visitors gain a Buddha's blessing or can reach and experience a spritual release through a tantric deity. In any case, however, one gains the goodwill of the local protective deities.

 


Besides its religious significance, the tshechu* is an important social event. Here, many times people who live far from one another come together and exchange news. Some often find their life's partner at this event. The generally boisterous atmosphere, as well as the communal eating and drinking, serve to bind these people together.

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The dance Shinje Yab Yum shows Bodhisattva* Manjusri* as the ruler over death.


Families from the entire region come to the tshechu* festival, held annually in every valley, with its religious dances in honor of Guru Rinpoche.


Even for those monks who do not take part in the dancing, the tshechu* is still a great event.