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Happy Tsechu Festival

Happy Tsechu Festival from all of us at IVAS - Centre for International Visiting Artists and Scholars! 🎉

Tshechu translates to "day 10" in the Bhutanese language. It commemorates the teachings of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), the revered Indian saint who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century. The sacred Cham dances are the highlight of the festival, which are performed by both laity and monks in elaborate costumes. 💃These dances re-enact events from the life of Padmasambhava and are believed to bring blessings and purification. Accompanied by folk songs and instruments such as cymbals, drums, and flutes, dancers wear wooden masks representing manifestations of Padmasambhava. 🎶 Among these masks are the "Atsaras”, who are clown figures to liven up the festival with their witty behaviors and exaggerated movements. 🤡 The festival concludes with the unfurling of a large Thongdrol (scroll painting) depicting Guru Rinpoche and other religious figures, where devotees gather to receive blessings. The Tshechu festival holds spiritual significance in Bhutan, reaffirming the Buddhist faith and strengthening the spiritual bond within the community.🌟🙏

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