One of the most unforgettable experiences from our Bhutan trip is witnessing the Thimpu Drubchen and Paro Dromche festival. A visit to this foreign land, and we realize how ignorant we are of the rich culture and traditions that every community preserves so painstakingly.
As we watched the magic of both the festival unfold before us, we were mesmerized by the spiritual fervor of the otherwise mellow Bhutanese locals. Perhaps our prime reason to travel to Bhutan in October, to witness the two most important festivals, was indeed right. These festivals are a colorful melange of the country’s culture.
So now that we are somewhat more culturally aware, we have some idea what these festivals are all about. Thimpu Drubchen festival takes place right before the bigger celebratory event called the Thimpu Tshechu which lasts for three days. Thimpu Drubchen is, on the other hand, just one day of festivity where sacred dances are performed by monks to honor Palden Lhamo – the prime protective deity of the Bhutanese people.
Our newly made friend, Thinley Tshering told us that each of the Drubchen dances had a special religious significance. I found the Cham dance (mask and costume dance by monks) to be most fascinating. The Cham dancers performed the energetic routine with such grace and gusto, I just couldn’t take my eyes off of them. Apparently, the Cham dance is meant to bless the onlookers and ward off evil negativity.
Now I don’t know if being part of the audience brought us any good fortune or not. But I do know that witnessing both the festivals blessed us with so many novel experiences and cherished memories – they have to be the prime highlights of our trip. And it was definitely a good decision to travel to Bhutan during the festival time. Ah, the Bhutanese festivals – what spectacle!
I’m sitting on a bench on the front porch of...
Awesome stuff! The photos are a riot of colour and exuberance, and it looks like a whole lot of fun to throw yourself in to this. I definitely can believe a festival like this can ward off evil negativity, that’s for sure. I’m reading more and more great things about Bhutan, so much so that I might just have to add it to my bucket list 🙂
Hey Joe, there’s not even an iota of doubt about the fact that Bhutan is a gem of a country. I mean there was beauty, culture, smiles, food, and tranquility. I am so much in love with the country and its people. 🙂
Wow that must have been an amazing experience! I love your pictures, they definitely make me want to go there!
Hey Sanne, we hope you can make it in 2016 or next year. Bhutan is gorgeous and well worth a visit. There’s so much beauty at every step. 🙂
What a fun experience! Love all the photos, they make you feel like you are really there. Love experiencing other cultures, this seems like the perfect way to do it.
Yes, being a part of the prime festival did help us know more about the region and its culture. Love Bhutan! 🙂
Wow! We want to go to Bhutan and after reading this post makes us want to go even more! The pictures are amazing, I love the colours on them. It’s great that you learn about the meaning behing the festival!
This makes us happy. We’d love to know what you thought of the festival once you’ve visited the beauty for yourself. 😉
Wow – the more I read about Bhutan the more I want to go there. I’ll have to try to coincide my visit with a festival – so colourful and what beautiful costumes. I love being in a country at festival time; looks like there was a great atmosphere.
Hi Emily – Bingo, even we planned our Bhutan holidays keeping in mind their festivals. And without doubt, we made the right decision. I’m glad you liked our photographs. 🙂
I was lucky enough to attend one such festival in Leh, Ladakh. Lovely write up and great pictures.
Thank you 🙂
Wow your photos are amazing!! This looks like it’s was such a good experience 🙂
I love this post. you have amazing photos, I want to go to Bhuntan now. Great post keep up the good work.
These festivals look amazing! It looks like you really got involved in it, I love the photo of you with the monks, I took many like this in Myanmar 🙂 I will look to plan my Bhutan trip around some major festivals, thanks for the tip
Definitely Sheena, you are going to love it during the festivals in Bhutan. The country is just magical during that time.
I’ve never heard of either festival. When I think of Bhutan, I think of Gross National Happiness. It looks like I imagine Tibet looking.
The Drubchen and Paro Dromche festival look amazing, and I love the colorful decorations of the temple and the dress of the folk artists. Do you guys allow to dance with them or have an audience dancing session? That would be much more enjoyable.
Hi Julie, no they don’t allow the audience to be a part of the dancing sessions. Of course that would be enjoyable but then the monks are the ones performing plays.
This looks so interesting! I would love to see the traditional dances performed by monks. Also, playing the long trumpets would probably be a great cultural performance as well. What kind of music they make? So many colors in these photos and a festival like that is the perfect way to emerge in the culture of the locals and get to know their beliefs and traditions.
How amazing to be able to witness the traditional dances and practices of other cultures. It’s amazing how they often make you stop and think about your own.
I love your pictures! I’m a big fan of festivals, and these look like so much fun. The colors and dance look so vibrant!
Beautiful photographs and fascinating article! Thank you for sharing your experiences.