Ura Yakchu participants double with new Thongdrel dedicated to The Gyalsey

The most important festival  held in Bumthang Ura called Ura Yakchu is going on from 18th to 22nd April. It is celebrated every year for five consecutive days.

Every year, the festival is visited by local people, tourists and people belonging to Ura from different parts of the country.

Ura Gup Dorji Wangchuk said that unlike the past years, this year the number of visitor doubled. He said, “This year the number of visitor from different region of the country increased drastically whereas the number of tourist visitor is constant”.“Every year there used to be about 500 people attending whereas this year there is more about thousand or more.” he added.

He says that the reason behind the increased number of visitors could be due to display of the new Thongdrel coinciding with Zhabdrung Kuchoe. The Thongdrel is dedicated to the birth of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey.

Every year the Thongdrel of Guru Rinpoche and Zhabdrung is displayed simultaneously during various occasions. This year the new Thongdrel of Sangay Yoepamae was also displayed.

He said that the day is very important to celebrate as the festival is celebrated to bring happiness, better crop yield and prosperity to the village. “The mask dances of this particular festivals are very unique and secret. Most of the secret dances of this festival were composed by Terton Pema Lingpa the great treasure discoverer of the 15th century. This is also the occasion when a revered relic statue is also exhibited to the general public.” he added.

According to the legend of the relic, a lama visited an old woman who was sitting outside her house weaving a cloth. This Lama seemed very mysterious and all he asked from the old lady was a glass of water. The old lady went to get water for the lama and when she returned the Lama just disappeared. But left behind a sack outside her doorsteps. Out of curiosity,she opened the sack and found a statue in the sack.

The statue is now displayed annually during Ura Yakchoe. This relic has been passed on from generations and is still owned by the descendants of the woman.

During the festival, the relic is kept at the house of the women for three days and is returned back to temple after the festival.

To celebrate the day, the civil servants in the region are granted three days holiday.


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