T AA S A R E V I E W V O L U M E 1 8 N O . 1 – TAASA Review March 2009
and even the intrusion of professional fools [astras] from time to time was traditional and had its symbolical meaning.’ Gould even made a Kodachrome cine film of the dancing monks and often watched the movements with complete fascination. More than six decades after Gould’s visits to Bhutan, these festivals remain important markers on the Bhutanese calendar.
The dances continue to be the soul of Bhutan’s major annual festivals (drupchens and tsechus), which are seen as calls to prayer, contemplation and reflection.
Each Dzongkhag (district) in Bhutan has its own tsechu; and while the months and duration of the festivals vary, all are commemorated on or around the tenth day of the month in the Bhutanese calendar...