Thursday, July 02, 2015

Bhutan Trip Day 4 - 26 June 2015 Nimalung Tshechu, Yathra Shop and Kurjey Lhakhang

Friday, 26 June 2015

Nimalung Tshechu in Bumthang, Bhutan - 26 June 2015

Traditional Bhutanese Dance during Nimalung Tshechu in Bumthang, Bhutan - 26 June 2015

My first day in Bumthang spent on Nimalung Tshechu (festival). Actually there was another Tshechu going on Kurjey Lhakhang. But we decided to go to Nimalung as all of us had never been there before and this Tshechu was celebrated to bring happiness, better harvest, and prosperity of the village and the country as a whole. 

With Atsara on Nimalung Tshechu -Bhutan

We reached there at 11.30am. Once we sat down, they announced that it's time for lunch and the Tshechu would only be started again at 1.30pm.

Nimalung Tshechu - Bhutan

We walked back to where we parked the car and had picnic lunch at nearby area. While walked back passing through the bazaar, I met up with Kuenza Karma (known as KK Wangdi), a blogger by passion and a teacher by profession at Jakar Higher Secondary School. He had just come from Kurjey Lhakhang and did his duty as Desuup there. Glad being able to meet him there. He came with his colleagues and also went to have their lunch picnic somewhere on the area.

Picnic lunch during Nimalung Tshechu :)

My friends and I gathered under the trees and made a big circle. There were few families joining together. Each family brought their own food and drink. I loved having this kind of picnic. It's something that we seldom had back in Singapore. Usually people just headed to the restaurant nearby to have their lunch. But here, in Bhutan, they commonly had picnic lunch like this. And I loved the togetherness and the sharing spirit that they implemented. They shared not only food, but also tea, beer, wine, whatever things they brought there for lunch.

Procession at Nimalung Tshechu

After lunch we went back to the Lhakhang and found our seats at front row, sitting on the floor. The procession above was started. One by one they came out and after walking around few times, monks who were wearing masks, were seated in the seats provided looking to the audience. The prayer was done, the folk dance, the drama, and finally to receive "wang" - good luck or blessings.

Nimalung Tshechu - Bhutan

The priority was given to the VIPs, followed by tourists, then by citizens. However, the crowd control wasn't done properly, nor enough manpower provided to guard the area. Many people were cutting queue, and many children were seen to be suffocated in the middle of the crowd. Many had chosen to leave the queue as to avoid casualty. Pushing here and there was done continuously.

Among the crowds - queuing for "wang" at Nimalung Tshechu

My friends and I tried being among the queue twice. However, since it was too crowded and the queue was getting uncontrolled, they were fastened up the timing for the "wang" and they left their posts and formed procession again before the whole festival was over. Again, we failed to receive the "wang" there. But in between, I managed to start from the middle and continued to the right. So at least I received 60% of the "wang", if not full :P

Among the crowds at Nimalung Tshechu in Bumthang, Bhutan

It's a very great experience for me though as this was one of the Tshechus available during this period only that I would be able to attend. Thank you Neela and Devi who brought me there and experiencing their religious event and culture! Also for Bungay Bhai and Yeshey who came for the festival too. It felt great to have your accompany :)

Yathra shops in Chumey, Bumthang

After that we departed and drove towards Kurjey Lhakhang. On our way, we passed by the shop selling local products - Yathra or woolen textiles products - traditionally weaved by ladies who stayed there in Chumey, Bumthang.

Samples of Yathra products from Chumey, Bumthang

There you could get nice souvenirs with pretty reasonable prices back home (compared when you bought it in Thimphu). Laptop bag, backpack, casual bag, toiletries bag, diaries, etc. They all came in great combination of colors.

Rainbow over the sky :)

We continued our journey and how lucky we were when we spotted the rainbow over the sky!!! We felt blessed instantaneously, on this auspicious day!!! :)

Our visit to Kurjey Lhakhang - Bumthang, Bhutan

So, there we were!!! We went up to get the holy water first before going to pray inside the Lhakhang. That, also after we begged the caretaker to open the door up for us, since we reached there quite late. It's my second visit there. Read my first visit to the Kurjey Lhakhang here. I felt blessed once again. Thank you again Neela and Devi for bringing me there!!! :)

Changpa for the day :D

That night, after a long day, both of them treated me delicious handmade fried pastry plus fried egg as Changpa, accompanied with my favorite Druk 11000, before serving me with real dinner :) They both knew best what I loved most hehe... My day was complete and ready for the next encounter!!! ^^


dumcho wangdi said...

Make your visits more cherishing and lively with the Bhutanese friends around. Bumthang is such a nice place where you will have loads of memories to save in, myriads of sacred places to visit, and in fact, lots of ingenuous Bhutanese commodities.

Norbu Wangdi said...

Have a great stay in Bhutan Mam Rima.

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you Dumcho! Indeed I'm having lots of great time with my friends here in Bumthang. We have created loads of memories too! It's such a good Karma that we can all meet together :)

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you so much Norbu! I hope you have a wonderful day too! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Rima, I am glad to know u r having good time here in Bhutan. Bumthang is a holy place for Buddhists and I hope u will be blest. I look forward to meeting once again before u leave. By the way, thank u so much for your wonderful gifts. My kids r happy to have them...

Rima Reyka said...

Hi Amrith Sir, thank you for your comment! I've already been blessed by being able to stay there and visiting many Lhakhang there. We visited other Lhakhang too in Lhuentse and other parts of Eastern Bhutan. Felt very blessed la!

It's my pleasure for the small gifts. I'm happy if your children love it :) Take care and hope to see you again once I'm back to Thimphu. Have a great week ahead! ^^

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