UNVEILING OF THONGDRELS.
A Thongdrel (alt. throngdrel) is a large appliqué religious image normally only unveiled
during tshechus the main religious festivals in Bhutan. They are the largest form of
thangka paintings in the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Thongdrels are composed of several layers,
mostly of silk. These begin with a backing, then the image itself, made up of appliqué pieces sewn to
a background. Finally there is a yellow drape that covers and protects it when not on display.
Thongdrels are stored rolled up. Thongdrels are displayed once a year as the highlight of the
tshechu festival of a district or dzongkhag .Typically they are displayed on the last day of the
tshechu. The painting is not allowed to be struck by the direct rays of the sun, thus it may be
unfurled at around 3:00 in the morning and rolled back up by 7:30 AM. The mere viewing of the
unfurled thongdrel is said to cleanse the viewer of sin. They may also be exhibited at other
important occasions such as royal coronations, when the thongdrel from a number of monasteries
may be transported to appear.
So with the request of our guest we also unveil some of the sacred thongdrels in front of the