Event: The three-day Peling tshechu, which is being held for the first time on the scared grounds of the Buddha Dordenma at Kuenselphodrang in Thimphu, began yesterday.

His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo, members of the Royal Family, and senior government officials graced the first day of the tshechu.

Organised by the People’s Initiative in Celebrating the Sixtieth Anniversary (PICSA) in collaboration with the home ministry, the tshechu is being held to commemorate the Royal Birth of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck.

The Peling tshechu is the divine enactment of the various visions and activities of Terton Pema Lingpa, from whose descendants originated the Wangchuck dynasty. HRH The Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck is the 19th direct descendant of Pema Lingpa.

PICSA project officials said that the initiative of organising the Peling tshechu is not only aimed at celebrating the Royal Birth of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey, but also to pay tribute to Terton Pema Lingpa.

The tshechu is also being held to commemorate Guru Rinpoche’s birth year and the 400th anniversary of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel’s arrival in Bhutan.

More than 200 performers from across the country will perform various chams (mask dances) visualised by Terton Pema Lingpa during the three-day tshechu. Chams from the Dochula Druk Wangyal tshechu will also be performed at the tshechu.

Peling Phag cham and Ging Tsholing cham from Tamzhing and Nyimalung in Bumthang, Dramitse Nga cham from Dramitse in Mongar, Peling Pa-cham from Gangtey Goenpa in Wangdue and Peling Chaktshel from Korphu in Trongsa were performed on the first day of the Peling tshechu.

Under an auspicious rainbow around the sun, thousands of people gathered to witness the Peling tshechu.

Tshering, 70, came all the way from Paro with his 83-year-old friend, Gomchen, to witness the sacred dances. It was their first time at the Kuenselphodrang.

“I am blessed to get the opportunity to witness the sacred dances and also the Buddha Dordenma at Kuenselphodrang,” Tshering said. “If it was before then we have to go to Bumthang to witness the Peling tshechu.”

Chamchen, Rigma Chudrukmai cham (16 dakinis dance), Pema Lingpa cham, Cha-Gyeng cham, Drung or Brum Cham will be performed on the second day while Peling Shinjey, Peling Juging (stick dance), Peling Shazam, Peling Driging (sword dance), Peling Ngaging and Guru Tshengye (eight manifestations of Guru Rinpoche) will be performed on May 4, the last day of the tshechu.

Dechen Tshomo