Bhutan Festivals Calendar 2023 | Druk Asia

Bhutan Festivals Calendar 2023

Updated on 16/January/2024
See latest Festivals Calendar

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

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.

Bhutan Festivals Calendar 2024

SourceTourism Council of Bhutan

Name Town Start Date End Date
Punakha Drubchen Punakha Feb 24, 2023 Feb 28, 2023
Punakha Tshechu Punakha Mar 01, 2023 Mar 03, 2023
Chhorten Kora Trashi Yangtse Mar 07, 2023 Mar 21, 2023
Tharpaling Thongdrol Bumthang Mar 07, 2023
Zhemgang Tshechu Zhemgang Mar 28, 2023 Mar 31, 2023
Gomphukora Trashigang Mar 29, 2023 Mar 31, 2023
Gasa Tshechu Gasa Mar 29, 2023 Mar 31, 2023
Talo Tshechu Punakha Mar 29, 2023 Mar 31, 2023
Paro Tshechu Paro Apr 02, 2023 Apr 06, 2023
Domkhar Tshechu Bumthang Apr 30, 2023 May 02, 2023
Ura Yakchoe Bumthang May 02, 2023 May 06, 2023
Nimalung Tshechu Bumthang Jun 26, 2023 Jun 28, 2023
Kurjey Tshechu Bumthang Jun 28, 2023
Tour of the Dragon (Mountain Bike Race) Bumthang Sep 07, 2023
Thimphu Drubchen Thimphu Sep 20, 2023
Wangdue Tshechu Wangdue Phodrang Sep 22, 2023 Sep 24, 2023
Tamshing Phala Chhoepa Bumthang Sep 24, 2023 Sep 26, 2023
Thimphu Tshechu Thimphu Sep 24, 2023 Sep 26, 2023
Gangtey Tshechu Wangdue Phodrang Sep 27, 2023 Sep 29, 2023
Thangbi Mani Bumthang Sep 29, 2023 Sep 30, 2023
Jhomolhari Mountain Festival Thimphu Oct 14, 2023 Oct 15, 2023
Jakar Tshechu Bumthang Oct 21, 2023 Oct 25, 2023
Chhukha Tshechu Chukha Oct 23, 2023 Oct 24, 2023
Royal Highland festival (Laya) Laya Oct 23, 2023 Oct 24, 2023
Dechenphu Tshechu Thimphu Oct 24, 2023
Pemagatshel Tshechu Pemagatshel Oct 26, 2023 Oct 28, 2023
Jambay Lhakhang Singye Cham Bumthang Oct 28, 2023 Oct 31, 2023
Jambay Lhakhang Drup Bumthang Oct 28, 2023 Oct 31, 2023
Prakhar Duchhoed Bumthang Oct 29, 2023 Oct 31, 2023
Black Necked Crane Festival Wangdue Phodrang Nov 11, 2023
Mongar Tshechu Mongar Nov 19, 2023 Nov 22, 2023
Druk Wangyel Tshechu Thimphu Dec 13, 2023
Lhuentse Tshechu Lhuentse Dec 19, 2023 Dec 23, 2023
Trongsa Tshechu Trongsa Dec 20, 2023 Dec 23, 2023
Samdrupjongkhar Tshechu Samdrup Jongkhar Dec 24, 2023 Dec 26, 2023
Public Holiday

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.


We will never spam you or share your contact information with third parties.

Whats App