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Sacred Rhythms: Paro TshechuFestival

Pageantry and celebration at an important religious event of the year ~ 17 to 19 days
Featured on our Sacred Rhythms programs celebrating the religious festivals of the Bhutanese year, the Grand Paro Tshechu is a much-anticipated event on the calendar. The color and pageantry of lush silks and brocades, the dances and theater whose themes have remained unchanged since the eighth century, these are all a vivid backdrop for a sacred time in a Bhutanese person’s life. Western writers have described the unique atmosphere as similar to a “convivial medieval fair”. To be certain, festivity plays a part, but it is also much more. It is a time for the Bhutanese people to reflect and receive blessings and remember important saints and teachers and, lest things become too somber—for there is always a joyous and practical side to Bhutanese life—an opportunity to wear the season’s best, to flirt and cement relations, to see and be seen, and to share the best delicacies of the year with loved ones.

In spring, we attend the Punakha Procession—known locally as the Serdra—and the Paro festival. Fall brings us to the Thimphu or Wangdue festivals. In late fall and cusp of winter, we attend the Bumthang Festivals. Closing the year with a splash of winter color is the Trongsa Tshechu. Join festive Bhutanese villagers at these fun-filled and exuberant celebrations of our living culture and myths.

paro_festival_left_alignITINERARY IN BRIEF
Days 1 and 2 : Arrive in Paro, and hike the loop from the valley center to the dramatic dzong and the national museum .

Days 3 & 4: Transfer to the capital and hike the north end of the valley to Buddhist colleges and monasteries .

Days 5 and 6: Hiking in the mountains south of Thimphu valley, with picnics near the area’s mountaintop monasteries .

Day 7: Relaxed day browsing the capital’s markets .

Day 8: Visit Thimphu’s national museums and monuments .

Day 9: Hike through rhododendron forests above the Dochula pass, gateway to the east .

Day 10: Overland journey to central Bhutan .

Day 11: Hike to the “Burning Lake” and nunnery .

Day 12: Walking tour of valley center, with stops at key monsteries and temples .

Day 13: Visit Trongsa Dzong, spiritual home of Bhutan’s kings .

Day 14: Visit Wangdue Dzong, overlooking two rivers .

Day 15: Hike alongside rice paddies to the Khamsum Temple .

Day 16: Visit Paro Kyichu Temple .

Day 17: Walk to a farming estate owned by the family of senior a Skykingdom Adventures guide featuring a hearty tradiional meal and tea service .

Day 18: Hike to “Tiger’s Nest” Monastery .

Day 19: Return flight to Bangkok or another gateway city.