Witnessing a festival in Bhutan is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Venetia Stanley was lucky enough to attend the Punakha Tshechu on her recent trip to this magical country.
The Punakha Tshechu (or ‘festival’) takes place each February or March inside the incredible Punakha Dzong, the ancient capital of Bhutan. The event is scheduled for the first month of the lunar year and ends with the Serda, which is a colourful procession that re-enacts an episode of the war against Tibet in the 17th century. It is unique for being the only festival with a procession like this. Our brilliant private guide explained its cultural and historical significance, location and how important it is to the locals who gather in their masses to watch, enjoy and pay their respects. As well as being a really fun and exciting day out for the Bhutanese, the tshechu also provides devout Buddhists with an opportunity for pilgrimage and prayer.