Under a warm spring sun, and dressed in their finest ghos and kiras, Parops, pilgrims, and an almost equal number of tourists, celebrated the first day of Paro Tsechu, witnessing sacred dances performed in the cobble-stoned courtyard of the Paro Rinpung Dzong.
Events inside Paro Rinpung Dzong commenced with monks performing Shingje Yab Yum, the dance of the Lord of Death (Shingje) and his consort.
This was followed by Durdag, the dance of the lords of the cremation grounds, Shanag, dance of the black hats, Drametse Ngacham, dance of the drum from Drametse, De Gye Mang cham, dance of the eight kinds of spirits, and finally Chhoeshey, a religious song.
Intermingled within these sacred dances, were also Zhungdra and Boedra dances performed by the Dzongkhag’s dancers.
Kuensel spoke to a few tourists, who witnessed the festival. All of them pointed out that the festival was uniquely different from similar festivals in other countries, in that it was not staged for tourists, but conducted for the local people.
“It wasn’t for travelers but for the people,” said Peter Hollingworth, a doctor from England, who witnessed the celebrations for the first time. “It was very natural, genuine.”
“People joked, laughed and interacted, it brought people together and it was very beautiful,” said Australian Peter Davissen, an electrician.
“You could feel the joy and fun, the happiness, and the peaceful atmosphere of the community,” said Christian Gruber, a German IT project manager with Shell.
“I feel privileged to have been able to attend such a magnificent festival,” said Felipe Chirinos from Peru. Paro Tsechu continues for another 4 days.