Temple Dance

festival-dancers-bhutan-lWhen I have seen photos of Bhutan, always included were shots of masked dancers, wearing yellow/gold costumes, with wide skirts that flair out as they spin. This was one experience we did not expect to have; it’s not festival time. Nonetheless, we heard about a festival in a small temple in Central Bhutan with perhaps only 200 local people attending and possibly no westerners. Men dancing, women singing, and clowns collecting donations, using huge phalluses as props, were the features of the day. It was a wonderful mix of formal pageantry, informal fun, serious religious ceremonies, and those amazing, golden, masked dancers dancing.

Wangdi Dzongtemple-dance-1

Begun in the 8th c, Wangdi Dzong is the oldest temple in Bhutan. The deeply worn flagstone floors vibrate with 1200 years of chants, prayers, and meditations. The stone seems to have collected centuries of thoughts, hopes, and dreams, and fused them into a silent song of connection and joy. I was very reluctant to leave, hungry for more time to satisfy my yearning for this sweet sensation/vibration, but I suspect that hunger is never satisfied. Wangdi Dzong was a sacred place that touched me so deeply. It is so familiar to me, as familiar and welcoming as home. Where does that come from?


Published by


Having journeyed to the Far East and Asia over 20 times in the past 20 years, I’ve been intrigued and inspired by the ingenuity, craftsmanship, balance and human spirit that have gone into the making of those works I have seen and collected.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *