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Popular religious festival or Tshechu in Bhutan - Sumthrang Kangsoel

Sumthrang Kangsoel - Popular Festivals in Bhutan

This annual festival is held at 13th century Sumthrang monastery, situated in pristine Ura valley of Bumthang. Kangsoel literary translates as the offering and appeasing deities that guard the tradition, teaching and practitioners of Buddha dharma.  The festival was initiated by the founder of the monastery, Nyoton Trulzhig Chojey, a great yogi and one of the sons of Nyo Gyelwa Lhanangpa, the founder of Sumthrang monastic establishment.

Among various masked dances displayed during festival in Bhutan, Tsen Cham (horse dance) is a major attraction performed during Kangsoel and also considered one of the earliest Buddhist mask dances of Bhutan.

On the first day of the festival, Tsen cham (Draktsen Dance) is performed inside the temple and comprises of Draktsen (mountain deity) the main figure of the dance surrounded by his attendants, the Kings of four directions. While on second day, it is performed in temple’s courtyard.

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