3 July 2017: Birth Anniversary of Guru Rinpoche: National Holiday in Bhutan

The World largest Guru Padmasambhava Statue at Takila, Lhuentse
The World largest Guru Padmasambhava Statue at Takila, Lhuentse

3 July 2017 is a Public Holiday in Bhutan to observe the Birth Anniversary of Guru Rinpoche. It is celebrated on the tenth day of the sixth lunar month, which typically falls in June or July in the Gregorian calendar and this year on 3 July. Guru Rinpoche, also known as Guru Padmasambhava, brought Buddhism to Bhutan.

According to legend, in the eighth century Guru Rinpoche flew to a cave in Bhutan from Tibet on the back of his consort Yeshey Tsogyal, whom he transformed into a tigress, and meditated there for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours. Later, the famous Paro Taktsang monastery, also known as the Tigress’ Lair (or Tiger’s Nest) was built around that cave.

Guru Rinpoche spread Buddhism across Bhutan and tamed local demons that did not like the spread of the new religion. He earned the title of Guru Rinpoche that means “Precious Teacher”. Thus the Birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche is celebrated with religious ceremonies that take place in Buddhist temples throughout the country.




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