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Bhutan Festivals

Bhutan Festivals

Hand-Crafted to Perfection

Bhutan is renowned for its colourful festivals. Some Bhutan festivals are now very well known amongst travelling circles and have become very popular tourist attractions too as a result. Paro and Thimpu festivals in particular. Other Bhutan festivals remain a much more local affair and present a more intimate experience for the discerning traveller to Bhutan.

  • Bhutan Festivals Guide

    Listed below is a selection of the many festivals that take place throughout the year across Bhutan. There are certainly far too many festivals for us to list them all here. If the sound of an "off the tourist map" festival is appealing to you, or you'd like to find out how you can plan your Bhutan Holiday to include a festival, then do please contact us for more. The approximate timing for each festival shown is purely indicative.. These dates are usually a somewhat auspicious matter and whilst some have become tourist spectacles they are of religious significance and for the Bhutanese first and foremost, it's not always possible to know precise dates too far in advance.

    If a particular festival interests you, then please contact us to establish the precise dates your festival of interest takes place.

Punakha Dromche

When: early March  

Duration: 3 Days

Taking place in the Punakha Dzong Courtyard, this festival is unique with a "Serda", a magnificent procession re-enacting the 17th Century war with Tibet

Punakha Tshechu

When: early March  

Duration: 3 Days

Follows Punakha Dromche at the same location. Introduced in 2005 to preseve the noble deeds of Zhabdrung Rimpoche in prayer and pilgrimage.

Dakpa Kora

When: mid-April 

Duration: 1 Day

Way over in the far east of Bhutan in Trashiyangste, this and other local festivals at other times is "off the tourist map" stuff that takes place at the Chorten here.

Rhododendron Festival

When: mid-April 

Duration: 3 Days

At the Lamperli Gardens (90 mins from Thimpu) beneath the Dochu La Mountain Pass, this is a an eco-tourism event for nature lovers

Paro Tshechu

When: mid-April 

Duration: 5 Days

Colourful and vibrant the Paro festival attracts the Bhutanese faithful from afar as well as hordes of tourists too. A huge Thangka is displayed on the final day.

Thimpu Tshechu

When: early Oct  

Duration: 3 Days

Probably the biggest and most popular festival in Bhutan. Masked dancers, jesters, thousands of locals from neighbouring Dzongkhas and lots of tourists amass in Thimpu.

Thimpu Dromchoe

When: late Sept 

Duration: 1 Day

Precedes Thimpu Tsechu and dates back to the 17th Century. The dromchoe is the only day of what is a 4 day festival open to the public & celebrates sacred dances dedicated to Pelden Lhamo, protector deity of Bhutan.

Wangdue Tshechu

When: late Sept 

Duration: 4 Days

With locals from nearby Punakha and Thimpu attending, this Wangdue Phodrang festival near Punakha is renowned for revelry and merry making. Known for Raksha Mangcham-the Dance of the Ox.

Gangtey Tshechu

When: early Oct 

Duration: 3 Days

Held in the courtyard of the Gangtey Gompa, there are sacred mask and folk dances (some unique to Gangtey). A very scenic festival location.

Black Necked Crane

When: Mid Nov  

Duration: 1 Day

Celebrated at Gangtey Gompa, this annual festival honours not only the arrival of the sacred Black Necked Crane, but also serves as a conservation initiative. Dancers dress as Cranes and the local kids bring songs.

Trongsa Tshechu

When: late Dec  

Duration: 3 Days

Trongsa is the sacred heart of Bhutan and this is the grandest of several festivals that take place here. Traditional dances and the unfurling of the sacred Thongdrol are some of the many spectacles to witness.

Chomolhari Festival

When: mid Oct 

Duration: 2 Days

This is a rather different affair. It's a celebration of the mountain communities that live beneath Chomolhari and the Snow Leopard. Not easy to get to though. A trek to the foot of Chomolhari is required! Highly recommended if you can though.

Jakhar Tshechu

When: late Oct 

Duration: 3 Days

In the Bumthang Valley region, the Jakhar Dzong is the setting for this colourful festival of song and dance. Try "Chugo" when here, a dried cheese snack that's very popular with the locals.

Tamshing Phala Chhoepa

When: late Sept  

Duration: 3 Days

Another Bumthang region festival taking place at the Tamshing Lhakang. The monastery setting of the Nyingma sect is wonderful and of great cultural significance.

Masutaki Festival

When: late Aug 

Duration: 2 Days

This Bumthang region Festival at Ura Gorund marks the start of Mushroom season! Great for song, dance, Masutaki food specialities and for an insight into Bhutanese village life. The stunning Ura Valley is a suitable backdrop for this fascinating event.

Jambay Lhakang Drup

When: early Nov 

Duration: 5 Days

Once again in the Bumthang Valley area at Jambay Lhakang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan this is one of the most spectacular of all Bhutan festivals. The ritualistic, naked fire dance is a real highlight. Definitely one to think about including.

Pemagatshel Tshechu

When: late Nov 

Duration: 3 Days

Way "off the map", attending this religious festival in itself is believed to earn you merit and the Bhutanese travel great distances to be part of this one. So will you! For the intrepid adventurer Cham dances, song and more await in the lands of the Tshanglas.

Ura Yakchoe

When: mid May  

Duration: 3 Days

Three days of mask dances and a procession carrying an image of Chana Dorji (Vajrapani) from the nearby Gaden Lhakhang in the Bumthang region down to the main lhankhang. The eve of the festival sees the frantic brewing of sinchhang (a spirit distilled from millet, wheat or rice) and a late-night exorcism.

See an image gallery of sights, people, Dzongs, festivals and more of the wonders of beautiful Bhutan

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