It was a festival for awareness of the black necked crane and was the first time for me to attend this sort of festival. I am so glade that I did make it and proud to take picture off the festival and by submitting them today fill even better thinking I am doing something as well for this lovely Black Necked Crane.
The Buddhist reverence for all forms of life and Bhutan’s dedication to nature preservation unite at Gangtey Monastery’s Black-necked Crane Festival in central Bhutan. The Monastery sits high above a broad valley overlooking the Phobjika Nature Reserve, which hosts hundreds of wintering Black-necked Cranes. Monks pray for the safe return of the birds, considered Boddhisatvas or “agents of God.” After the cranes’ long journey south from Tibet, local villagers gather at the Monastery for a colorful festival celebrating their safe arrival. The Gangtey monks adapt their traditional temple dances to themes related to the cranes, and more celebrations and gift-giving ceremonies abound amidst the country fair atmosphere.
According to Bhutanese belief, the circling of cranes provides a special blessing. Crops of winter wheat are only planted after the fields have been blessed by the arriving cranes. Large numbers of locals attend the festival, as well as many other visitors on their Bhutanese treks. Children dressed in crane costumes perform festive dances, while everyone hopes that some of the cranes will arrive while they’re watching. Their approach is first heralded by their calls, before they circle out of the sky to the wetlands below the monastery.