Spent Brothers Productions presents
October 2013

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Asia map
Bhutan is a Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom south of Tibet & north east of India

Bhutan map showing route followed
Route followed: from Paro airport east via Thimphu, Wangdue, Trongsa to Jakar in the Bumthang region

Thimphu dzong   Ruins of Wangdue Dzong
Simtoka Dzong (1629 CE) on the outskirts of the capital Thimphu /
The ruins of Wangdue Phodrang Dzong (1638 CE) tragically destroyed by fire in June 2012

Fire blessing   Fire blessing
Opening night of the Jampa Lhakang Drubchen (religious festival) 18 October 2013
Local people walking through the burning gate to receive a fire blessing
The festival is one of the oldest & most sacred in central Bhutan

Day One of the Festival

Costumed dancers   Girl singers/dancers
The dance of the stags / Girls dancing & singing local songs
"The focal point of the festival are the sacred Cham dances...These costumed, masked dances typically are moral vignettes,
or based on incidents from the life of...Padmasambhava and other saints." (Wikipedia on Tsechu)

Masked dancers   Masked dancers
The figure in a red top on far right is one of the fools who poke fun at the performers & audience

Girl singers/dancers   Masked dancers
The girls perform again / Another fool & differently costumed dancers

Black hat dancers  Masked dancers

Lady abducted from the audience  Masked dancers
A lady is abducted from the audience to play a part / The fools lark about around the "dead" Man with large red phallus

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Photographs © Derek & Sheila Henderson 2013