Bhutan Folk Festival is a unique festival organised by ABTO to showcase the rich traditional heritage of Bhutan. It will take place in Punakha from the 13 – 15 December, 2008.
13 December, 2008
- 8:30 AM – Arrival of Guests.
- 9:00 AM – Arrival of the Chief Guest escorted with Chipdrel Ceremony.
- 9:15 AM – The inaugural ceremony of the Bhutan Folk Festival. This will be carried out with the Zhugdrel Phuensum Tshogpa (traditional welcome ceremony) in the presence of tourists, participants and the local community.
- 9:30 AM– Welcome and Introductory Address by Director General, Tourism Council of Bhutan.
- 9:40 AM -Opening Remark by the Hon’ble Chief Guest.
- 9:50 AM– Conferring of Tashi Khadar (white scarf of goodwill and purity) to tourists (guests) by the Chief Guest with welcome drink.
- 10:00 AM – Commencement of Khuru (traditional dart game), Jidum (javelin) and Degor (stone discus) tournaments.
- 10:00 AM – Exhibition of the making of Bhutanese traditional sports equipment and sale. The historical background of these indigenous games will also be explained to the viewers.
- 12:00 PM – Prize distribution for Khuru, Jedum, Degor.
- 12:20 PM – Coinciding with lunch, a traditional food festival will be organised.
- 2:00 PM– Competition on Rice and Butter Measurement with traditional measuring scales such as Drey and Sang (tourists can participate in the competition).
- 3:30 PM -Awarding of Prizes to the Rice and Butter measurement winners.
- 4:00 PM – A traditional drama showcasing various kinds of Bhutanese dress from ancient to present times will be staged.
- 7:30 PM -Dinner with traditional songs and dances.
- 8:30 PM -Traditional rituals for victory will be performed in preparation of the next day’s Archery Tournament (gathering in the camp, performing rituals, inviting priests and astrologers to suppress the opponents).
14 December, 2008
- 7:30 AM– Arrival of participants and tourists for the Archery Tournament.
- 8:00 AM– Guests & Archers from the two gewogs will join a procession to make a round in an auspicious direction traditionally known as Drachhen Korni.
- 9:00 AM– Archery Tournament will begin with Marchang ceremony. Besides the demonstration on making traditional bow and arrow & accessories, the products will also be sold.
- 11:30 AM– Victory celebration by the winners of the Archery Tournament with distribution of prizes.
- 12:30 PM– Lunch will be served in a traditional manner by the family members of the two archery teams. The tourists present will be divided into groups and served lunch by the families. As per tradition & culture, Soelra (prizes) will be awarded to the family members of both the teams who serve lunch.
- 2:00 PM– Competition on traditional grinding and sieving of rice & maize (corn) with traditional implements amongst the gewogs (tourists can also participate in the competition).
- 4:30 PM– Awarding of prizes to the winners. The programme will come to an end with traditional songs and dances (tourists can also sing their local songs).
- 6:00 PM– Traditional & Modern songs and dances will be performed for the guests & audience.
15 December, 2008
- 8:00 AM– Arrival of the Lam (high priest), guests & participants.
- 8:30 AM– The Lam & monks will perform Jabthrue & Kago with Mechham (Fire Dance) for protection from evil spirits and suja desi will be served.
- 9:30 AM– Kagyur Lingkor: as per existing tradition, Guests & participants will carry Kagyur (religious Buddhist scripts) starting from Punakha-Tabab Chhorten- Pepchu Village- Lungtsigang- Dongkakha Village- Nubgang and way back to Punakha Dzong via Yongu Village and Logodama School. On the way, the villagers will receive blessings & and offer Chhemar (flour and butter) & Soelja Dresi (traditional tea and butter rice)/Tea/snacks.
- 11:30 AM– Lunch will be served by the local community in Nobgang. After the lunch, the Lam will entreat and pray for blessings and goodwill (ngou).
- 12:00 PM– During the lunch break, some traditional games competition such as Parey Sherey, Pung-dho, Chhap-chha, Ke-shi, Langthabni will take place. Prizes will be awarded to the winners.
- 2:00 PM– Kanjur Lingkor procession returns to Punakha. On the way back, drinks and snacks will be served at the Yongu and Logadama villages accompanied by songs and dances.
- 3:30 PM– Conclusion ceremony of Kanjur Lingkor.
- 3:50 PM– Closing speech by the General Secretary, ABTO. Tashi Khadhars will be presented to the tourists & participants with prayers for good luck, good health and prosperity (Tashi Moenlam).
- 5:00 PM– Tsang-Mo (traditional singing involving repartee usually between the sexes) will be staged.
- 7:00 PM– Dinner will be served to guests and participants around the camp fire.
- 7:30 PM– The folk festival will conclude with traditional songs, dances & the performance of the Tashi-Lebey (Concluding dance) in which all the participants and guests are invited to join.