Traditional Ceremonial Reception

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Background History

The literal meaning of chibdre is ‘the procession led by the riding horse’. It is the traditional way of receiving important dignitaries as a gesture of honour and respect appropriate to their positions and importance. Such dignitaries range from heads of state to religious heads and high-ranking officials.

The procession comprises monks equipped with their traditional orchestral instruments, namely trumpets, clarinets, drums and cymbals, which they play as they walk. The procession also includes a number of other participants such as pacham (hero dancers) and folk dancers in traditional costume, persons carrying auspicious symbols and substances, people carrying flags associated with deities, and a hierarchy of officials, bodyguards and attendants.

Depending upon the importance of the occasion and rank of the dignitary, chibdre is organised at three levels: elaborate (gepa), average (dring), and abbreviated (duepa).

During the chibdre procession for state level dignitaries, a separate group of monks on the rooftop performs serdreng, a ceremonious fanfare of trumpets, cymbals and other religious instruments, as an accompaniment. Serdreng symbolises an offering to the ears of the gods and goddesses. It is believed that it is the accumulated merits of the dignitary being received that make him worthy of such a high honour.


The first chibdre was held during the time of the Lord Buddha. When the Buddha was giving teachings at the Trayastrimsa Heaven and the Tushita Heaven, his disciples and devotees begged the Buddha through Maudgalyayana (Ma’u dgal gyi bu) to return to earth and give teachings. As a result, Lord Buddha was accompanied to the earth with such an elaborate chibdre.

Where

Chibdre is held especially from the gate and the guest of honour is accompanied to the main function spot. 

No. of Performers

Chibdre requires lots of people which will be described below in the proceedings.

Proceedings
  • Select the main function spot.
  • Erect traditional gate and fix five-coloured flags connected but five coloured rudar.
  • Line up from the gate in following sequence:

Order of the Elaborate Chibdre Procession (chibdre gepa) according to Debther norbui threngwa:

  1. Three stallions – a white stallion with a white scarf (darkar dzöci) around the neck led by a man dressed in white woollen gho and a kabney (châcap), a red stallion with a red scarf (darkar dzöci) around the neck led by a man dressed in throm gho and a rakpa (brass coloured) stallion with a scarf (darkar tseci) around the neck led by a man dressed in thrm gho and a kabney (châcap).
  2. Big cylindrical drum (bang-nga) with a drummer in red woollen gho. The drum is hung below the left hand with a strap running over the right shoulder.
  3. A man dressed ringing a bell (tringtring) dressed like the drummer.
  4. Two men dressed in green woollen gho wearing pezha (hat) a kabney (châcap) blowing clarinets (jaling).
  5. A man dressed in red woollen gho and a kabney (châcap) with traditional arms and armours – sword, shield, and metal helmet – carrying a chogdar (directional flag).
  6. A man carrying tsändar (deity flag) wearing a thromgö, a white skirt, and a long red hairy hat. The man should be equipped with traditional arms and armours – sword and shield.
  7. A man carrying rudar (coy flag) dressed in blue woollen gho.
  8. A man carrying lhadar dressed in a white gho (necessary in only in Chibdre Gepa).
  9. Eleven different colours of flags – white, yellow, red, green, blue, orange, brown, yellowish-green, dark brown, light blue, and pink carried by eleven men dressed in gho and the kabney (châchap).
  10. Police flag
  11. Army flag
  12. Royal Body Guards’ flag
  13. National flag
  14. Drache (armour) 11 & Drichang (swords) 11 – 22
  15. Men carrying guns – 2
  16. Drazhey – 50
  17. Nubzhey – 11
  18. Wuchupi zhey – 11
  19. Wangzhey – 11
  20. Pacham (hero dance) – 16
  21. Zhungzhey pho 15 & mo 15 – 30
  22. Chözhey – 16
  23. Jang-nga (large bell) – 1
  24. Phen chephur gyaltshen – 9
  25. Tingsha – 9
  26. Chödze – 24
  27. Tengkheb (shrine cover) – 9
  28. Mandala (mystic circle) – 11
  29. Kusung thukten (religious objects – statue, scripture, and stupa) – 3
  30. Norbui rig (gems from 23 varieties)
  31. Dug
  32. Sernya
  33. Dungkar
  34. Padma
  35. Bumpa
  36. Gyaltshen
  37. Khorlo
  38. Pelbew
  39. Melong
  40. Zho
  41. Lithri
  42. Durwa
  43. Bilwa
  44. Yungkar
  45. Giwang
  46. Dungkar
  47. Khorlo Rinpoche
  48. Norbu Rinpoche
  49. Lyonpo Rinpoche
  50. Tsünmo Rinpoche
  51. Langpo Rinpoche
  52. Tacho Rinpoche
  53. Magpön Rinpoche
  54. Kardung (conch shells) – 1 pair
  55. Jaling – 1 pair
  56. Tshogdung (long horns) – 1 pair
  57. Sernga (drum) – 3 pairs
  58. Sinyen (cymbal) – 1 pair
  59. Rolmo posang (cymbal) – 3
  60. Rigma cudrug dancers & one cymbal – 17
  61. Rabjam, ’nyikem, & lhengye officials
  62. Pö (incense sticks) waver.
  63. Sangphor
  64. Gelong Jalingpa – 2
  65. Jangdü Thrikheb – 1
  66. Jangdü Tenzuk – 1
  67. Jangdü Kuche – 1
  68. Chib serga chapmi – 2
  69. Adrung (syce) – 2
  70. Bôdremi – 2
  71. Chib ngüga chapmi – 2
  72. Adrung – 2
  73. Chabshub (traditional cover for palang used by elites) – 1 pair
  74. Dzong-nga (traditional bag used by elites) – 2 pairs
  75. Thrikheb (throne cover) – 1
  76. Jadom (water container) – 2
  77. Bathra (betel container) – 1
  78. Üzha dremi – 1
  79. Kudrung (discipline master) – 1
  80. Jipe pawo – 4 [ two on either sides of the zhey and two here]
  81. Zimpön (chamberlain)– 1
  82. Chief Guest
  83. Phecung namza bâmi (traditional bag to carry royal belongings) – 4
  84. Body guards
  85. Sungkhôp
  86. Attendants
  • In addition to the above procession, a serdreng from rooftop will be performed only for the His Majesty the King and the Je Khenpo and it comprises of:
  1. Dungchen – 1 pair
  2. Jaling – 1 pair
  3. Rolmo (large cymbal) – 1 pair
  4. Posang – 2 pairs
  5. Sinyen – 2 pairs
  6. Nga – 3 pairs
  7. Chephur gyaltshen – 1 set
  • Receive the Chief Guest to the function spot.
  • Perform Jipe pawo.

Order of the Average Chibdre Procession (chibdre dring wa) according to Debther norbui threngwa:

  1. Big cylindrical drum (bang-nga) with a drummer in red woollen gho. The drum is hung below the left hand with a strap running over the right shoulder.
  2. A man dressed ringing a bell (tringtring) dressed like the drummer.
  3. Two men dressed in green woollen gho wearing pezha (hat) a kabney (châcap) blowing clarinets (jaling).
  4. A man dressed in red woollen gho and a kabney (châcap) with traditional arms and armours – sword, shield, and metal helmet – carrying a chogdar (directional flag).
  5. A man carrying tsändar (deity flag) wearing a thromgö, a white skirt, and a long red hairy hat. The man should be equipped with traditional arms and armours – sword and shield.
  6. A man carrying rudar (coy flag) dressed in blue woollen gho.
  7. Five different colours of flags – white, yellow, red, green, and blue carried by five men dressed in gho and the kabney (châchap).
  8. National flag
  9. Drache – 11
  10. Chabshub – 2
  11. Dzong-nga – 2
  12. Wangzhey – 9
  13. Phozhey – 11
  14. Mozhey – 9
  15. Chözhey – 9
  16. Pacham – 11
  17. Divisional Heads (Gopön)
  18. Senior Officers (Pönkhag)
  19. Jipe pawo – 2
  20. Thrikheb – 1
  21. Jadom – 1
  22. Bathra Pcitala – 1
  23. Kudrung
  24. Chief Guest
  25. Attendants
  • Receive the Chief Guest to the function spot.
  • Perform Jipe Pawo

Order of the Abbreviated Chibdre Procession (chibdre düpa) according to Debther norbui threngwa:

  1. Big cylindrical drum (bang-nga) with a drummer in red woollen gho. The drum is hung below the left hand with a strap running over the right shoulder.
  2. A man dressed ringing a bell (tringtring) dressed like the drummer.
  3. Two men dressed in green woollen gho wearing pezha (hat) a kabney (châcap) blowing clarinets (jaling).
  4. A man dressed in red woollen gho and a kabney (châcap) with traditional arms and armours – sword, shield, and metal helmet – carrying a chogdar (directional flag).
  5. Five different colours of flags – white, yellow, red, green, and blue carried by five men dressed in gho and the kabney (châchap).
  6. National flag
  7. Drache – 7
  8. Chabshub – 2
  9. Dzong-nga – 2
  10. Dancers – 7
  11. Chözhey – 7
  12. Officials
  13. Thrikheb – 1
  14. Jipe pawo – 2
  15. Jadom – 1
  16. Bathra Pcitala – 1
  17. Chief Guest
  18. Attendants
  • Receive the Chief Guest to the function spot.
  • Perform Jipe Pawo

 

Researcher Detial:

Gengop Karchung
Researcher,
Research & Media Division,
National Library & Archives of Bhutan,
Department of Culture,
Ministry of Home & Cultural Affairs,
PO Box No. 185
email: luckycarchu@gmail.com

Date of Research:2015-06-01

Data Enterer Detail:

Gengop Karchung
Researcher,
Research & Media Division,
National Library & Archives of Bhutan,
Department of Culture,
Ministry of Home & Cultural Affairs,
PO Box No. 185
email: luckycarchu@gmail.com

Date of Entry:2/07/2015 11:53 am





Asset Details
  • Domain          :  Religious Practices
  • Catagory        :  Offerings & Ceremonies
  • Local Name  :  Chibdre Procession (ཆིབས་གྲལ།)
  • Dzongkhag   :  National
Location

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  Chibdre procession participated by monks
  Jipe Pawo performance
  Chibdre procession led by a stallion
  Chibdre procession led by a drummer

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རྡོ་རྗེ་རྒྱལ་མཚན། སྒྲིག་ལམ་རྣམ་གཞག་གི་དེབ་ཐེར་ནོར་བུའི་འཕྲེང་བ། རྒྱལ་ཡོངས་དཔེ་མཛོད་ ཐིམ་ཕུ་ ༡༩༩༩ །
སྒྲིག་ལམ་སྡེ་ཚན། སྲོལ་འཛིན་ལས་ཁུངས། འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་ཀྱི་སྒྲིག་ལམ་རྣམ་གཞག། སྒྲིག་ལམ་སྡེ་ཚན། སྲོལ་འཛིན་ལས་ཁུངས། ཐིམ་ཕུ། (forthcoming)

Gengop Karchung (2015). Traditional Customs, Rituals, Ceremonies, and Festive Events. In Intangible Cultural Heritage of Bhutan, (93–146). Thimphu: National Library & Archives.

Karma Rigzin (2011). Chibdral: A Traditional Bhutanese Welcome Ceremony. Journal of Bhutan Studies, 24, 42–53.

Yonten Dargye (trans., 1999). Driglam Namzhag (Bhutanese Etiquette): A Manual. Thimphu: National Library.

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