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Popular religious festival or Tshechu in Bhutan -Tamshing Phala Chhoepa

Tamshing Phala Chhoepa - Popular Festivals in Bhutan

The Tamshing Phala Chhoepa festival is held at the Tamshing monastery in Bumthang. Built in year 1501, the monastery follows the Pelliing tradition of Pema Lingpa and belongs to the Nyingmapa sect. This festival is celebrated in the monastery for its cultural significance and its direct connection to the famous saint and cultural hero, Terton Pema Lingpa.

The festival got its name as Phala Chhoepa following a mask dance performed by treasure dscoverer Pema Lingpa, wearing a mask of a pig, sculpted by himself. The tradition also is a celebration of the time when Pema Lingpa’s protecting deity or Yidam Dorji Phagmo appeared in the form of a pig and presented him the design of the monastery.

The three-day festival is a display of series of mask dances among which is the prominent Khandroi Gar Cham, a 500-year old dance, once performed during the consecration of the monastery. The dancers move in unison as they perform the Khandroi Gar Cham or the dance of the Dakinis in precise choreography. With soothing sound of Damaru and Drilbu, there is a feeling of complete calmness about the place.

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