Festivals in the Land of the 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 on the 8th century. Teschus are held on auspicious days and months in the Bhutanese calendar, and last up to four days in which a series of highly stylized masked dance rituals are performed.
Festivals are also a big family and social occasion. 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 dzongs or at monasteries.
The Tsechus are a rich form of the oral history tradition where the Bhutanese pass on values, mythology and spiritual beliefs through the dance dramas. Many of the tsechus culminate with a rare display of a giant silk appliqué Thanka depicting Guru Rinpoche or some 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.