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Haa festival in Bhutan to start soon

Starting July 9 till 10, the Haa festival also known as Alpine festival will start off in Haa, Bhutan.  The festival is being organised by the dzongkhag administration of Haa and Tourism council of Bhutan to attract tourists.

This is an opportunity to explore the high alpine valleys of Haa, learn about the nomadic life there and tap into the ancient culture rhythms of Haaps, as the people there are known. Tourist can get a taste of home-cooked delicacies; will have opportunity to ride yaks and play traditional Bhutanese games such as archery, khuru (dart) and soksum (javelin). Folk dances and mask dances will be making the festival more colorful.

Haapai Hoentoe, the hearty dumpling made from buckwheat and filled with grated turnip, dried turnip greens, mushrooms, garlic, onion and chopped cabbage, is Haa’s delicacy.

The festival will also showcase Nublang cattle show, a breed of cattle unique to the Haaps, the Nublangs trace their origins to a legendary lake called the Nub Tshonapata. According to a local myth, this special breed of cattle was granted as a present to a herder from Haa for his kindness to a deity of the lake.

Haa is the ancestral home to the Dorji family and Haap religious life revolves around the appeasement of Buddhist and Shamanic (Bon) deities and entities including Ap Chhundu, their guardian spirit, believed to protect all people born in Haa. The people of Haa inhabit valleys as high as above 3,000 meters; they are strong boned and resilient. Wheat, potatoes, barley and millet are commonly grown there. They are known for their skills in the traditional 13 Arts and crafts of Bhutan.

Haa is two hour’s drive from the International airport in Paro.