Bhutan Festivals Calendar 2022

Posted on 11/January/2021

Festivals in the Land of the Thunder Dragon are rich and happy expressions of its ancient Buddhist culture. These festivals are held in all districts 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.
 
Festivals are also a big family and social occasions. People dress up in their finest clothes and most resplendent jewelry of coral and turquoise. They pack picnic lunches in their traditional bamboo baskets and stay all day at the festivals which are usually held in the dzongs (fortresses) or at monasteries.
 
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 festivals

Bhutan Festival by popularity

 
Paro and Thimphu Festivals are by far the most popular festivals in Bhutan. There are two main reasons why they are so popular. Firstly, they are located in the Western part of Bhutan, an hour drive away from the airport. So it is possible for you to do a four days visit just to attend the festival. If the festival is taking place in Eastern Bhutan, you would have to visit Bhutan for a minimum of 10 days. Secondly, Paro and Thimphu Festivals take place in spring and autumn respectively, 2 of the best seasons to visit Bhutan.
 
Three years ago, we would usually recommend travelers to books at least six months before their travel dates. With the growing number of hotels in Bhutan, we can usually accommodate travelers on last minute notice. However, do note that experienced guides are in high demand during this period. If you do have some flexibility with your travel schedule, we would recommend going for less popular festivals.
 

What if you can’t catch the festival?

Preparation for the festivals starts weeks before the festival itself. If you are in Bhutan but won’t be able to catch the festival, do visit the Dzong, and you may be able to catch the monks practicing and preparing the material for the festival. This is a great photo opportunity since the materials used for prayer are colourful. This visit can be a meaningful opportunity if you have caught the festival somewhere; you have the chance to see the faces behind the masks and spend time speaking to the monks on the origin and meaning of the festival.

 

 
 

SourceTourism Council of Bhutan




Name Town Start Date End Date
Punakha Drubchen Punakha Mar 09, 2022 Mar 11, 2022
Punakha Tshechu Punakha Mar 12, 2022 Mar 14, 2022
Tharpaling Thongdrol Bumthang Mar 18, 2022
Zhemgang Tshechu Zhemgang Apr 09, 2022 Apr 11, 2022
Gasa Tshechu Gasa Apr 09, 2022 Apr 11, 2022
Gomphukora Trashigang Apr 09, 2022 Apr 11, 2022
Talo Tshechu Punakha Apr 09, 2022 Apr 11, 2022
Paro Tshechu Paro Apr 12, 2022 Apr 16, 2022
Rhododendron Festival Thimphu Apr 15, 2022 Apr 17, 2022
Chhorten Kora Trashi Yangtse Apr 30, 2022
Domkhar Tshechu Bumthang May 11, 2022 May 13, 2022
Ura Yakchoe Bumthang May 13, 2022 May 17, 2022
Nimalung Tshechu Bumthang Jul 07, 2022 Jul 09, 2022
Haa Summer Festival Haa Valley Jul 09, 2022 Jul 10, 2022
Kurjey Tshechu Bumthang Jul 09, 2022
Mushroom Festival Thimphu Aug 15, 2022 Aug 16, 2022
Tour of the Dragon (Bicycle Race) Bumthang Sep 03, 2022
Thimphu Drubchen Thimphu Oct 01, 2022
Wangdue Tshechu Wangdue Phodrang Oct 03, 2022 Oct 05, 2022
Tamshing Phala Chhoepa Bumthang Oct 05, 2022 Oct 07, 2022
Thimphu Tshechu Thimphu Oct 05, 2022 Oct 07, 2022
Gangtey Tshechu Wangdue Phodrang Oct 07, 2022 Oct 09, 2022
Thangbi Mani Bumthang Oct 08, 2022 Oct 10, 2022
Jhomolhari Mountain Festival Thimphu Oct 14, 2022 Oct 15, 2022
Jakar Tshechu Bumthang Nov 01, 2022 Nov 03, 2022
Chhukha Tshechu Chukha Nov 01, 2022 Nov 03, 2022
Dechenphu Tshechu Thimphu Nov 03, 2022
Jambay Lhakhang Drup Bumthang Nov 08, 2022 Nov 12, 2022
Prakhar Duchhoed Bumthang Nov 09, 2022 Nov 11, 2022
Black Necked Crane Festival Wangdue Phodrang Nov 11, 2022
Mongar Tshechu Mongar Dec 01, 2022 Dec 03, 2022
Trashigang Tshechu Trashigang Dec 01, 2022 Dec 03, 2022
Pemagatshel Tshechu Pemagatshel Dec 01, 2022 Dec 03, 2022
Jambay Lhakhang Singye Cham Bumthang Dec 07, 2022
Nalakhar Tshechu Bumthang Dec 08, 2022 Dec 10, 2022
Druk Wangyel Tshechu Thimphu Dec 13, 2022
Lhuentse Tshechu Lhuentse Dec 30, 2022 Jan 01, 2023
Trongsa Tshechu Trongsa Dec 30, 2022 Jan 01, 2023
Legend
Festival
Public Holiday
Exhibition
Film
Others

Planning to travel to Bhutan during a festival?

On popular dates of travel such as during festival time, flight tickets tend to get fully reserved 5 months prior. Due to limited flight and seats available, we recommend you to reserve your ticket as early as possible. You can reserve your ticket for free with us and plan your trip to Bhutan with a peace of mind knowing that you will have a spot on your flight to Bhutan.


 

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