Highlander festival to exhibit culture of highlanders
The Royal Highlander Festival will be organized in Laya, Gasa, from 16-18 October to promote the sustainable livelihood of highlanders.
The festival is being organized to sensitize the highlanders on the decline of yak farming with increased vulnerably from instantly shorter income generation activities that seem to be challenging the sustainability of livelihoods in future in the highlands.
The festival is also aimed at create awareness among stakeholders on the importance of their spiritual participation in enhancing their economic opportunity.
It will showcase the highlander’s innovation and exhibit the highlands as a pride of Bhutan. It includes the display of tradition and culture of highlanders– Auley festival, traditional dance competition, traditional games and sport, and cross-country race.
Different highland related technologies will be showcased in exhibition stalls consisting of yak products, finance and banking services.
Besides contest and judging of highland animals like yaks, house and dog shows will be a special feature of the festival, with judges and public voting to select winners.
The three-day festival is to help people experience the highland lifestyle, traditional songs and dances, traditional dress, arts and crafts, and bja (yak fur tents).
The festival is expected to bring together highlanders from other parts of Bhutan and countries to exchange values, knowledge, skills and best practices related to highlands and yak farming.
The Royal Highlander festival coincides with the annual local Auley, known for the rich traditional epic poem recitation, a tradition that originates from the time of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the founder of Bhutan.
The festival will be also a landmark activ- ity of Gasa Dzongkhag’s vision of Good to Great Gasa. The Good to Great Gasa is a vision inspired by His Majesty’s passion to make our country great.
The festival will also celebrate the birth of HRH Gyalsey, 400 years of Zhabdrung Rinpoche’s coming to Bhutan and the Rabjung birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche.
As part of the festival, the Snowman Run, spanning 53-kms, open cross-country will be launched.
The exciting race has a promising future due to the stunning beauty of the trail, the high altitude, and difficulty level, according to the organizer.
The race starts on 15 October from Gasa Tsachu and ends after 28 kms. The second leg of the race, 25-kms, starts on 16 October and ends at Langothang, Laya, at the festival venue.
The festival expects about two thousand people and the race expects to see a maximum of 50 men and 25 women.