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Festival and Events in Bhutan

Festivals in Bhutan are rich and happy expressions of its ancient Buddhist culture. These festivals are held in all districts of Bhutan in honour of Guru Rinpoche, the saint who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century. Tsechus are held on auspicious days and months in the Bhutanese calendar, and last up to four days in which a series of highly stylised masked dance rituals are performed.

Behind the scenes, the monks prepare themselves for weeks ahead of the festival, involved in deep prayer and meditation prior to the festival. The monks perform special masked dances that are inspirations of enlightened beings in history; and the Bhutanese believe that watching these mystical dances is essential to gain enlightenment.

All Bhutanese try to attend a festival at least once in a lifetime, and for many, it is an important annual affair where they consider it a blessing to be able to watch the dances. Apart from the monks, community dancers also participate in the local festivals.

The tsechus are a rich form of the oral history tradition where the Bhutanese pass on values, mythology and spiritual beliefs through the dance dramas. Many of the tsechus culminate with a rare display of a giant silk applique thangkha (painting) depicting Guru Padmasambava or some other important Buddhist deity.

People’s deep faith and devotion make these festivals a special occasion. At the same time, it is also an opportunity to join hundreds, and even thousands, of Bhutanese in taking part in an important religious and social occasion that often exudes a carnival atmosphere.

BHUTAN FESTIVAL DATES FOR 2016

SL#

FESTIVAL

PLACE

DATES

 

1

PUNAKHA DRUBCHEN

Punakha Dzong, PUNAKHA

13th -16th February

2

PUNAKHA TSHECHU

Punakha Dzong, PUNAKHA

17th -19th February

3

THARPALING THONGDROL

Tharpaling Lhakhang, Chummi, BUMTHANG

22nd February

4

CHHORTEN KORA

Chorten Kora, TRASHIYANGTSHE

22nd February & 9th March

5

GOMPHUKORA

Gom Kora Lhakhang, TRASHIGANG

16th -18th March

6

TALO TSHECHU

Talo Gonpa, PUNAKHA

16th -18th March

7

GASA TSHECHU

Gasa Dzong, GASA

14th -18th March

8

ZHEMGANG TSHECHU

Zhemgang Dzong, ZHEMGANG

15th -19th March

9

PARO TSHECHU

Rinpung Dzong, PARO

19th March -23rd March

10

RHODODENDRON FESTIVAL

Lamperi Botanical Garden, Dochula, THIMPHU

18th – 20th April

11

DOMKHAR TSHECHU

Domkhar, Chummi, BUMTHANG

16th -18th April

12

URA YAKCHOE

Ura Lhakhang, BUMTHANG

18th -20th April

13

NIMALUNG TSHECHU

Nimalung Dratshang, Chummi, BUMTHANG

13th -15th June*

14

KURJEY TSHECHU

Kurjey Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG

15th June

15

MASUTAKI MUSHROOM FESTIVAL

Ura, BUMTHANG

22nd –23rd August

16

TOUR OF THE DRAGON (BICYCLE RACE)

Bumthang to Thimphu

3rd September

17

THIMPHU DRUBCHEN

Tashi Chhodzong, THIMPHU

6th -10th October

18

WANGDUE TSHECHU

Tencholing Army Ground, WANGDUEPHODRANG

9th -11th October

19

GANGTEY TSHECHU

Gangtey Gonpa, Phobjikha, WANGDUEPHODRANG

9th -11th October

20

TAMSHING PHALA CHHOEPA

Tamshing Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG

11th -13th October

21

THIMPHU TSHECHU

Tashi Chhodzong, THIMPHU

11th -13th October



BHUTAN FESTIVAL DATES FOR 2017

SL#

FESTIVAL

PLACE

DATES

 

 

 

 

1

PUNAKHA DRUBCHEN

Punakha Dzong, PUNAKHA

4th– 6th March

2

PUNAKHA TSHECHU

Punakha Dzong, PUNAKHA

7th – 9th March

3

CHHORTEN KORA

Chorten Kora, TRASHI YANGTSHE

11th April & 26th April

4

GOMPHUKORA

Gom Kora Lhakhang, TRASHI YANGTSHE

4th – 6th April

5

PARO TSHECHU

Rinpung Dzong, PARO

7th – 11th April

6

RHODODENDRON FESTIVAL

Lamperi Botanical Garden, Dochula, THIMPHU

14th – 16th April

7

URA YAKCHOE

Ura Lhakhang, BUMTHANG

7th – 10th May

8

NIMALUNG TSHECHU

Nimalung Dratshang, Chummi, BUMTHANG

1st – 3rd July

9

KURJEY TSHECHU

Kurjey Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG

3rd July

10

TOUR OF THE DRAGON (BICYCLE RACE)

Bumthang to Thimphu

2nd September

11

THIMPHU DRUBCHEN

Tashi Chhodzong, THIMPHU

25th – 29th September

12

WANGDUE TSHECHU

Tencholing Army Ground, WANGDUEPHODRANG

28th – 30th September

13

TAMSHING PHALA CHHOEPA

Tamshing Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG

30th Sept. – 2nd Oct.

14

THIMPHU TSHECHU

Tashi Chhodzong, THIMPHU

30th Sept. – 2nd Oct.

15

THANGBI MANI

Tangbi Lhakhang, Choekor, BUMTHANG

4th – 6th October

16

PEMAGATSHEL TSHECHU

Pemagatshel Dzong, PEMAGATSHEL

1st – 3rd November

17

JAMBAY LHAKHANG DRUP

Jambay Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG

3rd – 6th November

18

PRAKHAR DUCHHOED

Prakar Lhakhang, Chummi, BUMTHANG

4th – 6th November

19

BLACK NECKED CRANE FESTIVAL

Gangtey Gonpa, Phobjikha, WANGDUEPHODRANG

11th November

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