Punakha Tshechu Festival

The three-day Punakha Tshechu Festival begins right after the Punakha Drubchen. This is a relatively new festival, which began only in 2005 and it is also hosted at the beautiful Punakha Dzong.

The festival is adorned with mask dances of various kinds. The festival jesters, called Atsaras, keep the crowds entertained and most of them also carry wooden phalluses and wear funny masks. People from all over the country come to attend the festival and there are also a good number of tourists. The highlight of the festival is the unfurling of the large Thongdroel (the word means liberation on sight) of Guru Padmasambhava. The Thongdroel is a larger-than-life size painting, which is unfurled for the public to receive blessings only during the Tsehchu. It is believed that a mere sight of the Thongdroel would liberate onlookers of all his sins.

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