We recently attended the Demoche festival in the Punachka Dzong in Bhutan. This photo shows monks gathered on the balcony overlooking the courtyard of the dzong, or temple. This dzong was the religious and civil capitol of Bhutan until 1955, when the capitol was moved to Thimpku. The Demoche festival is the first festival of the season.
People walk from the surrounding countryside to attend the Demoche festival. Some people walk as much as three days to reach the festival. We encountered this young girl and her family walking from the festival, and like most Bhutanese, they were quite willing to pose for photos.
This is photo of the Paro Dzong. Many of the temples in Bhutan occupy commanding locations on the hillsides above the valleys. Paro is the broadest valley in Bhutan, and has barely enough flat land for the only international airport in the country. There was no airline service into the country until the 1980's, and the airliners must dip, zig and zag to descend into the valley to be into position to land on the runway.
There are many prayer flags strung between trees all over Bhutan. These boys were happy to pose under the prayer flags. The prayer flags have a certain sequence of colors and are hung all in the same direction to maintain the proper sequence of colors.
This photo shows one of the dances in the Demoche festival. Dancers twirl around wearing flowing robes and scary masks. The dances reenact the defeat of invading Tibetans in 1639