Bhutan Festivals Calendar | Travel to Bhutan | Druk Asia

Bhutan Festivals Calendar

Updated on 16/January/2024

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

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Name Town Start Date End Date
Punakha Drubchen Punakha Feb 16, 2024 Feb 18, 2024
Punakha Tshechu Punakha Feb 19, 2024 Feb 21, 2024
Tharpaling Thongdrol Bumthang Feb 24, 2024
Thangbi Mani Bumthang Feb 25, 2024 Feb 27, 2024
Zhemgang Tshechu Zhemgang Mar 17, 2024 Mar 19, 2024
Gasa Tshechu Gasa Mar 17, 2024 Mar 19, 2024
Talo Tshechu Punakha Mar 17, 2024 Mar 19, 2024
Gomphukora Trashigang Mar 17, 2024 Mar 19, 2024
Paro Tshechu Paro Mar 21, 2024 Mar 25, 2024
Chhorten Kora Trashigang Mar 25, 2024 Apr 08, 2024
Rhododendron Festival Thimphu Apr 13, 2024 Apr 14, 2024
Domkhar Tshechu Bumthang Apr 18, 2024 Apr 20, 2024
Ura Yakchoe Bumthang Apr 20, 2024 Apr 24, 2024
Nimalung Tshechu Bumthang Jun 14, 2024 Jun 16, 2024
Kurjey Tshechu Bumthang Jun 16, 2024
Haa Summer Festival Haa Valley Jul 14, 2024 Jul 15, 2024
Tour of the Dragon (Mountain Bike Race) Thimphu Sep 02, 2024
Thimphu Drubchen Thimphu Sep 09, 2024
Wangdue Tshechu Wangdue Phodrang Sep 11, 2024 Sep 13, 2024
Tamshing Phala Chhoepa Bumthang Sep 13, 2024 Sep 15, 2024
Thimphu Tshechu Thimphu Sep 13, 2024 Sep 15, 2024
Gangtey Tshechu Wangdue Phodrang Sep 16, 2024 Sep 18, 2024
Thangbi Mani Bumthang Sep 17, 2024 Sep 19, 2024
Thangbi Mewang Bumthang Sep 18, 2024 Sep 19, 2024
Jakar Tshechu Bumthang Oct 10, 2024 Oct 12, 2024
Chhukha Tshechu Chukha Oct 10, 2024 Oct 12, 2024
Jhomolhari Mountain Festival Thimphu Oct 14, 2024 Oct 15, 2024
Prakhar Duchhoed Bumthang Oct 18, 2024 Oct 20, 2024
Royal Highland festival (Laya) Laya Oct 23, 2024 Oct 24, 2024
Dechenphu Tshechu Thimphu Nov 03, 2024
Mongar Tshechu Mongar Nov 09, 2024 Nov 11, 2024
Pemagatshel Tshechu Pemagatshel Nov 09, 2024 Nov 11, 2024
Trashigang Tshechu Trashigang Nov 09, 2024 Nov 11, 2024
Black Necked Crane Festival Wangdue Phodrang Nov 11, 2024
Nalakhar Tshechu Bumthang Nov 15, 2024 Nov 17, 2024
Jambay Lhakhang Drup Bumthang Nov 15, 2024 Nov 18, 2024
Jambay Lhakhang Singye Cham Bumthang Nov 15, 2024
Lhuentse Tshechu Lhuentse Dec 08, 2024 Dec 10, 2024
Trongsa Tshechu Trongsa Dec 08, 2024 Dec 10, 2024
Druk Wangyel Tshechu Thimphu Dec 13, 2024
Samdrupjongkhar Tshechu Samdrup Jongkhar Dec 13, 2024 Dec 15, 2024
Nabji Lhakhang Drup Trongsa Dec 15, 2024 Dec 16, 2024
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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