If mask dances and the loud sounds of religious instruments marked the festival dedicated to the protective deity of Bhutan, Palden Lhamo, the vibrant colours of silk on the courtyard celebrated the country’s rich culture and tradition.

By 7AM, people who have come to watch the dromchoe yesterday filled the courtyard of Tashichhodzong. While most men choose silk shinglo patterns, women choose the heavily woven silk kiras of various patterns and colours.

Prior to the festival, preparation is marked with demand for kishutahra and silk ghos, which can take about three months to weave.

A traditional kira shop owner at Babesa, Deki Wangmo, said that she sold more than 15 kiras before Thimphu dromchoe. “I also get orders for kiras especially for occasions such as convocations and tsechus,” she said.

A businesswoman, Kinley Om, said that she had prepared for the dromchoe with tailoring of kira, tego and wonju for her two daughters, aged three and seven. “There are people who have worn heavy clothes while there are few who didn’t. I think people will wear expensive and clolourful clothes during the festival.”

An instructor with the Royal Academy of Performing Arts (RAPA), Tshering Wangchuk, said that dancers from RAPA perform in traditional attire and ornaments marking good omen during the celebration. “The tshoglham for women was designed by the traditional boot house at Chubachu on request. It has heels.”

Phurpa Lhamo