Paro Festival

As the moon rises over the snowcaps each April, Paro springs to life. The Paro Festival celebrates The Guru Rinpoche, who “was born of a lotus flower.”

Also known as Guru Padmasambhava, he was responsible for spreading Tantric Buddhism throughout the Himalayan kingdoms of Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal around 800 A.D.

This festival is a colourful celebration of song, dance, music and theatre.

But the highlight is when the monks of the Paro monastery unfurl the throngdel, the massive scroll thangka (painting), for pilgrims to worship. Legend says that simply seeing the sacred throngdel will wash the devotee of his or her sins. Thousands of people from all over Bhutan gather in Paro to view it so that their karma can be renewed.

In general, this tsechu is a cheerful and vibrant affair with lots of colour and culture thrown in, while everyone celebrates.

The Bhutanese believe that everyone must attend a tsechu at least once in their lives, so that they are blessed and absolved of their sins. The Paro Festival takes place in mid-April each year and is celebrated according to the Bhutanese lunar calendar.