It was the national day in Bhutan so we spent the morning at a festival celebrating that. On the way we stopped for a photo op along the river with the Paro Dzong in the background. I took a picture of Chime, our guide and Dochi, our driver together. It turns out Dochi’s wife weaves all his clothes on a backstrap loom. Laura and David decided to test the waters. FF. We arrived at the celebration, which is in Chime’s home town so she bumped into her cousin and best friend.
It turns out that all the performers had been there for hours so the poor elementary school kids were slightly bored, although very well behaved. The ceremonies started with a procession of dancers, some sort of blessing and a flag raising, then the king’s speech was piped in from the eastern end of the country. After that, each group of students marched vigorously round the field, with arms swinging in unison. When they had finished that, about 12 groups of dancers performed.
We left the festivities and went for lunch. We visited the Paro Dzong, which is the local seat of government. All the Dzongs have government offices and major monasteries. This one had an antechamber which had religious paintings, including this one which depicts heaven and hell and the paths to each. It was an interesting building architecturally with a huge inner courtyard. From here you could see the national museum building which is being reconstructed after being damaged in an earthquake. There was a monk on duty at the temple selling trinkets.
After the Dzong, we visited the oldest temple in the area. It was one of 108 temples built in one day by a Tibetan king trying to pin down a god, as legend has it.