Festivals in Bhutan
The festivals (or Tsechu) of Bhutan are wonderfully fascinating affairs and famous the world over for their combination of riotous colour, exuberant atmosphere and ancient religious tradition.
Historically festivals were a means of gathering communities together to celebrate auspicious religious occasions and for monks to impart the relevant wisdom from religious texts, to a largely illiterate population, through the medium of song and dance. Festival dates were also an opportunity for an agricultural community to stop work for a few days, dress up, make merry and perhaps meet a future partner. In many ways today's festivals serve the same purpose but the most important now make allowances for the advent of tourism.
Festivals take place throughout the year but the biggest, and most colourful, take place in the Spring and Autumn which coincides with the best times to visit Bhutan. If you are able to combine your trip with one of the major festivals such as those that take place in Paro and Thimphu it would really add that extra bit of spice to your tour of Bhutan.
Please see below for a list of the most important festivals throughout the year and ask us how we can incorporate one into your itinerary. However please note that accommodation during festival times is at a premium and so it is important to book early.
Festival dates for 2016
Punakha Dromchen (Punakha) from 13 to 16 February
Punakha Tsechu (Punakha) from 17 to 19 February
Chorten Kora (Tashi Yangtse) 22 February and 9 March
Gom Kora (Tashigang) from 16 to 18 March
Paro Festival (Paro) from 19 to 23 March
Ura Festival (Bumthang) from 18 to 20 April
Nimalung Festival (Bumthang) from 13 to 15 June
Kurjey Festival (Bumthang) on 15 June
Thimphu Drupchen (Thimphu) on 10 October
Wangdi Festival (Wangdiphodrang) from 9 to 11 October
Gangtey Festival (Gangtey) from 9 to 11 October
Thimphu Festival (Thimphu) from 11 to 13 October
Tamshingphala Choepa (Bumthang) from 11 to 13 October
Tangbi Mani (Bumthang) from 15 to 17 October
Jakar (Bumthang) from 7 to 9 November
Jambay Lhakhang Drup (Bumthang) from 14 to 17 November
Paker Festival (Bumthang) from 15 to 17 November
Mongar Festival (Mongar) from 5 to 9 December
Tashigang Festival (Tashigang) from 8 to 10 December
Nalakhar Festival (Bumthang) from 13 to 15 December
Trongsa Festival (Trongsa) from 7 to 9 January 2017
Lhuntse Festival (Lhuntse) from 7 to 9 January 2017