Festival: Otherwise idle throughout the year, the small town of Dagapela in Dagana becomes a beehive of activity once a year.

The three-day Dagapela Tshechu, which began yesterday some 50 kilometers away from Dagana town, drew few hundreds from Goshi, Tsendagang, Gesarling, Drujeygang, Khebisa, Tsangkha, Larja and Tashiding gewog annually.

For the religious, the festival is a time to gain merit and blessings, while for the business minded, it’s also a time to earn some good money for shopkeepers from in and around the district come to Dagapela.

Among the 200 shopkeepers who travelled to Dagapela is a shop owner, Phub Dorji from Wangdue. The 41-year-old said he is a regular shopkeeper in all 20 dzongkhags during tshechu and other celebrations.

“I go with my goods wherever there is a huge gathering and I started moving around the country since 2007,” he said. The tshechu tshogpa held a “lucky dip” to allot plots for the stalls. Of the 200 registered shopkeepers, 40 were registered to set up restaurants and hotels. A fee of Nu 3,500 is charged for those who set up eateries and Nu 2,400 for others.

By Yeshey Dema, Dagapela