One of the biggest festivals in the country is the Thimphu Tshechu, being witnessed by thousands of people many of whom travel from neighboring districts to attend the festivities. This festival is held in the capital city for three days beginning on 10th day of the 8th month of lunar calendar.
The actual Tshechu is preceded by days and nights of prayer and rituals to invoke the gods.
In terms of magnitude and significance, the Thimphu tshechu has evolved a lot over the years; from few dances that were showcased back then, a lot more were added under the auspices of the third king of Bhutan, thereby adding a vibrant kaleidoscope of colour and variation to the festival.
Currently, the Thimphu Tshechu boasts of a wide collection of mask dances, some dating as early as the 5th c. Mask dances like the Guru Tshengye or the Eight Manifestations of Guru have deep spiritual values while the light-hearted ones like the Shaw Shachi or Dance of the Stags and hounds are enjoyed because they are similar to stage-theater.
To the local populace, the Tshechu is also seen as a break from farm life and to break away from the stereotyped realm of materialism. It’s an occasion to celebrate, receive blessings and pray for health and happiness.