FESTIVALS OF TRADITION (BHUTAN FESTIVAL TOURS).
Festivals in the Land of Thunder Dragon are rich and happy expressions of its ancient Buddhist culture. These festivals are held in all districts in honour of Guru Rinpoche, the saint who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century, Festivals are held on tenth day of the particular month in the Bhutanese calendar and last up to four days in which a series of high stylized mask dance rituals are performed.Festivals are also a big family and social occasions. People dress up in their finest clothes and most resplendent jewelry of coral and turquoise. They pack picnic lunches in their traditional bamboo baskets and stay all day at the festivals which are usually held in the dzongs(fortress)or at monasteries. Behind the scenes, the monks prepare themselves for weeks ahead of the festival, involved in deep prayer and meditation prior to the festival. The monks perform special masked dances that are inspirations of enlightened beings in history and the Bhutanese believe that watching these mystical dances is essential to gain enlightenment. All Bhutanese try to attain a festival at least once in a lifetime, and for many, it is an important annual affair where they consider it a blessing to be able to watch the dances. Apart from the monks, community dancers also participate in the local festivals.
The festivals are a rich form of the oral history tradition where the Bhutanese pass on values, mythology and spiritual beliefs through the mask dance dramas. Many of the tsechus culminate with a rare display of giant silk appliqué thangkha(painting)depicting Guru Padmasambava or other important Buddhist deity.
People’s deep faith and devotion make these festivals a special occasion. At the same time, it is also an opportunity to join hundreds and even thousands of Bhutanese in taking part in an important religious and social occasion that often exudes a carnival atmosphere. Besides the dancers and musicians, a key character at the Tshechu is the atsara.These clowns who wear dramatically expressive masks with big red noses and are an indispensable element in the otherwise solemn and sometimes tedious ceremony. Their exaggerated gestures and irreverent jokes provide comic relief when the audience gets restive and only they are allowed to confront the monks and mock the religion. They are actually treated with great respect as they believed to be representatives of the ancient acharyas-the sanskrit word for religious teachers. Our recommendation is that if you haven't been to Tshechu(festival),plan your Bhutan Travel and Tour
Bhutan Paro Festival,Paro Festival Tour,Tours to Paro Festival,Paro Festival Dates
Paro Festival Tours is one of the crowded festivals in Bhutan. The unfolding of the silk Thangka - which is so large that it covers the face of the building -is considered one of the most sacred blessings in the whole of Bhutan. The 'Thangka' is a religious picture scroll known as a Thongdroel and it is exhibited for a few hours, at day break of the final day of the festival, enabling the people to obtain its blessing. This holy scroll 'confers liberation by the mere sight of it' (the meaning of the word 'thongdroel' in Bhutanese). This festival is held once a year so it is also the time to for Bhutanese to celebrate with their relatives and friends.
TRIP LENGTH: 8 DAYS 7NIGHTS.
FESTIVAL DATES: 15th March-19th March 2011.
Thimphu Festival Tours,Bhutan Thimphu Festival Tour Guide,Bhutan Festival Tour
Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan and it is the centre of government. The broad Thimphu valley represents mostly urban way of life. Just like any other place in Bhutan. This valley is clothed with beautiful trees from valleys to the hill top and with beautiful buildings built and maintained with traditional Bhutanese architecture.
Thimphu means "sinking” derived from a legend and today one can still see a rock covered with silk and offerings in front of Dechenphu temple. Before the arrival of the great Shabdrung Rinpoche in Bhutan 1616, the valley of Thimphu came to exist after the arrival of the great Boddhisatawa Phajo Drukgum Shipo, who married to a local girl and settled in Thimphu valley. Almost all the historical sites as well as temples in Thimphu are connected to Phajo Drukgum Shipo family. During the festival period, many religious mask dances and dramas are performed based on the visions of various Buddhist saints.
Trip Length: 8 Days 7Nights.
Festival dates: 6th October-8th October 2011.
Jambay Lhakhang Festival and Drub,Bhutan Festival Tours,Jambay Lhakhang Festival,Tercham(Naked Dance)
About Jambay Lhakhang and Festival.
This is one of the 108 temples in built by the Tibetan king Songsten Gampo on the same day as Paro kichu Lhakhang. The temple host guru Joyo Jampa,the future Buddha as its main statue. One of the most sacred festivals of Jambay Lhakhang Drup takes place here every year. The ceremony of fertility blessing is central to the annual Jambay Lhakhang Drub, the most popular relegious festival in Bumthang. It takes place every year, in October or November, at Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred Buddhist temples in Bhutan. Infertile women who wish to conceive come from different parts of the country to get blessed at the ceremony. The main monk or lama at the ceremony, wearing an interesting mask, prays to the fertility gods and deities, and blesses the women with a symbolic wooden phallus to make them fruitful in the coming year.
Bhutan Black Necked Crane Festival Tours,Bhutan Black Necked Crane Tours,Bhutan Festival Tours
Phobjikha valley is located in the western Bhutan. A few kilometres beyond the Gangtey Monastery, Perched on a small hill that rises from the valley floor, the Gangtey Monastery is the only Nyingmapa monastery on the western side of the Black Mountain’s and also the biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. The Monastery is surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 Gomchens who take care of the Monastery.
Gangtey was founded by Pema Trinley, the grand son of Pema Lingpa, the famous Nyingmapa saint of Bhutan. In 1613, Pema Trinley establishes the monastery and became the first Gangtey Tulku. The religious traditions of Pema Lingpa still taught there. The second Tulku, Tenzin Legpa Dondrup (1645 to 1726), enhanced the size of Gangtey while keeping up good relations with Drukpas, and rebuilt the monastery in the form of a Dzong. Phobjikha is place is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter winter in milder and lower climate. Phobjikha, at an altitude of 2900 m, falls under the district of Wangduephodrang and lies on the periphery of the Black Mountain National Park.
The Black –neck Cranes, commonly known as “thrung thrung karm” has a sacred identity in the Bhutanese culture. It is often cited in the folklore, dances and other historical texts. The crane festival is annually organized by the local communities in phobjikha which reinforces the importance of these birds in the lives of the local people.
The goal for conserving and protecting the endangered Black Necked Cranes and their habitat can be obtained only if people see economic benefits resulting from conservation activities. Therefore effort must be made to establish clear link conservation and the material well being of the people.The first Crane Festival in 1998 was entirely financed by RSPN. However, RSPN is a non-profit organization and its own budget constraints means that it cannot continue to finance the festival. The 1999 festival will be organized by the Phobjikha community with assistance from RSPN. In 1998 Festival was a huge success with over 70 International guests in attendance. The local people are optimistic that this year's festival will also be well attended and therefore contribute substantially to their economy, thus convincing them of the economic opportunities of Black Necked Crane conservation. Bhutan ranks among the top ten hot spots in the world for bio-diversity. These endangered birds fly south from Siberia each fall to winter in the marshlands of Phobjikha. The Royal Society for the Protection of Nature and the Phobjikha Community are now working together to protect the habitat of endangered Black Necked Cranes.