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Spectators at the Chumey Valley Tshechu, Bhutan

February 20th, 2014

For the locals in the Chumey valley of Central Bhutan the dancing of the Prakar Lhakhang Tshechu (religious festival in the Chumey Valley) has special significance and meaning.  The figures both celebrate their rich cultural and religious heritage and they believe simply witnessing the dances will absolve and release them from many sins committed the previous year.

Local Bhutanese watching the Bumthang Tshechu

Watching the Demons Dance

Buddhism in Bhutan

Bhutan is a Buddhist country, but as Buddhism travelled across Asia, transported by the travelling Gurus, it changed and evolved absorbing and adopting many of the animist beliefs of the locals.  This you can clearly see in the Buddhist festivals of Bhutan with their many stories and legends of spirits and demons of the land that have become an integral part of local Bhutanese Buddhism, nothing illustrates this better than the Demon Dance on the final day of the Tshechu.

Image shot with the Hasselblad H4D-60 and the 100mm f2.2 lens on my last Photo Tour to Bhutan

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