Cultural preservation is one of the four pillars that constitute GNH. It is considered to be a high priority because on top of contributing to the conservation of Bhutan’s identity, it is also seen as a “cushion” that neutralizes the negative impacts of modernization. In addition, and most importantly, it enriches spirituality among the Bhutanese society. Tshechus are therefore a great example of how well Bhutan preserves its culture: no matter when and where, these festivals still unite entire communities.
A Tshechu is a religious festival held once a year in different temples, monasteries and dzongs throughout Bhutan. Tshechu literally means the ”tenth day” day of a month of the lunar calendar corresponding to the birthday of Guru Rimpoche or Guru Padmasambhava. However, the exact month of the Tshechu varies from place to place and temple to temple.
Tshechus are very significant events that bring together entire communities to witness religious and colorful traditional dances, receive blessings and, of course, it is a very important opportunity to socialize, too.
According to the Bhutanese culture, it is believed that everybody must attend at least one Tshechu in their lifetime and witness the mask dances to clear all sins and receive blessings. Tshechus normally last for 2-3 days and every dance has a special meaning or a story behind it. Many are based on stories from as long ago as the 8th Century, when Guru Rimpoche was alive.
If you want to learn more about Tshechus please visit the Tourism Council of Bhutan.