Guru Padmasambhava, the great lotus born saint and philosopher came to Bhutan in the 7th century. By performing rites, reciting mantras and performing dances of subjugation he was able to conquer the local deities. Guru Padmasambhava came to be known as Guru Rimpoche.
“Tshechu” (Tshe – Day and Chu – 10) Day 10 of a particular month of the Lunar Calendar. For Paro, the Tshechu is held on the 10th Day of 2nd Bhutanese lunar month for five days and has been held annually since the 17th Century when the Rinpung Dzong was consecrated.
Held in both the inner and outer courtyards of Rinpung Dzong, depending on the festival day, it is the most popular Tshechu for visitors and locals alike. The Masked dances are considered blessings which depict the life and manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava. On the last day of the festival a giant Thangkha “Thongdrel”is unfurled before sunrise. It measures 30m x 45m and is believed that the mere sight of it cleanses a lifetime of sins. The first Tshechu was organised in Bumthang in the 8th Century by Guru Padmasambhava which is where the Dance of his eight manifestations originated.