Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan, is another significant destination for festivals, known as "Tsechus." The Punakha festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm and hold immense cultural and religious importance. Here are some details and highlights of the festivals in Punakha:
Punakha Drubchen: Punakha Drubchen is a unique festival that showcases a reenactment of a historic battle. It takes place in Punakha Dzong, one of Bhutan's most majestic fortresses. The festival usually occurs in February or March. During Punakha Drubchen, locals dress in traditional warrior attire and perform a dramatic reenactment of the battle against Tibetan forces that took place in the 17th century. It is a mesmerizing display of Bhutanese history and culture.
Punakha Tshechu: Following Punakha Drubchen, the Punakha Tshechu is celebrated in Punakha Dzong. This festival lasts for several days and takes place immediately after the Drubchen. The main highlight of Punakha Tshechu is the mask dances performed by monks and laypeople. These dances portray various religious stories and symbolize the triumph of good over evil. The Tshechu attracts both locals and tourists, who gather to receive blessings and witness the vibrant cultural performances.