Prakar Durchoe

The Durchoe, religious festival of Prakhar village is sponsored by the noble family and the village of Prakar. It celebrates anniversary of the death of Thugse Dawa Gyeltshen (b.1499-?), the son of the great saint Pema Lingpa (1450-1521). The festival takes place on the 17th and 18th days of the 9th month of the Bhutanese calendar (October/November) in the Prakar Manor (ngatshang) and the entire community of Chhume valley attends the festival. The dances and music are performed by the monks belonging to the Nyingmapa religious school from the nearby monastery of Nyimalung, founded by Dasho Gonpo Dorji and Doring Trulku in 1938. The descendant of Dawa Gyeltshen, Dasho Gonpo Dorji was then the Lord of Chhume and he was also responsible for the construction of Prakar Manor in the 1930s.

The dances take place in the courtyard of the manor and include amongst others, the Black Hat Dance, the Dance of the Three Ging of Pema Lingpa and the Dance of the Drummers from Drametse. The jokers (atsara) are monks, which is an unusual feature of this festival. At the end of the second day, the villagers line-up to get blessings from the statue of Thugse Dawa Gyeltshen brought out from the inner sanctum.

Research team                                               
Lopen Nagwang Jamtsho, Lopen Tashi Tobgay, Lopen Karma Drupchu
Lecturers, Institute of Language and Culture Studies, Royal University of Bhutan, 2009

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