Bhutan is a stage for some of the most vibrant and unique religious festivals in the world. These festivals play a very integral part in forging Bhutan’s identity in the world map as a tourist hotspot. Tsechus or fetes annual festivals are public events and conducted over three to five days, at different times of the year. Tsechus are held in different places in Bhutan in the precincts of dzongs (forts) and temples. People from all walks of life in their best local attire assemble to witness the sacred mask dances and to view and receive blessings from the thongdrel (religious paintings) and relics. Tsechus are celebrated to commemorate the life and deeds of Guru Rimpoche or Guru Padmasambhava who introduced tantric Buddhism in Bhutan. Besides renewing peoples’ beliefs in religion, the tsechus also provide an opportunity for people to come together and socialize. The most popular tsechus are the Paro tsechu, Thimphu tsechu, Punakha tsechu and the tsechu in Bumthang. In recent years, new festivals such as for rhododendrons and mushrooms are celebrated which also are promoted among tourists.
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