Held in the massive grounds of the historic Punakha Dzong, Punakha Drubchen is one of Bhutan’s most significant religious events, wherein one is taken back to the 17th century, as a scene from the period is enacted. In the 17th century, Tibetan forces from across the border attacked Bhutan. Bhutanese emerged victorious under the leadership of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It is said that during that period, there were no standing Bhutanese military force. Then emerged the “Pazaps,” the local militiamen from the eight great villages (Tshogchens) of Thimphu, who were victorious. To commemorate the victory, Zhabdrung introduced the Punakha Drubchen.
During the Drubchen, the entire battle is re-enacted with local men dressed as “pazaps” emerging and showcasing the victory.
The Tsechu follows the Drubchen.