Major Festivals in Bhutan- Festival Attractions

Major Festivals in Bhutan- Festival Attractions

Published on Sep 27, 2023

Bhutan is brimming with cultural activities no matter when you plan to visit. Visit during festivals in particular to enjoy a vibrant phase of your holiday. Bhutan has at least one cultural festival or celebration per month. So, here in this article, we will discuss the Major Festivals in Bhutan. 

It is better to visit Bhutan during a local celebration, according to experts. Not all festivals, however, are celebrated with the same zeal. Likewise, here are the Major festivals in Bhutan to attend for a colorful vacation.

Thimphu Tshechu- Most Important Religious Festival in Bhutan

Thimphu Tshechu- Festivals

This is the classic land celebration. This three-day festival brings together thousands of residents. Locals dress in traditional clothes and enjoy dancing and other cultural activities in the courtyard of the Tahichhodzong fortification.

Similarly, this Major Festival in Bhutan plays a vital role in the history of Bhutan. The classic masked dance is among the cultural events. Similarly, the celebration has been a part of their culture since the nineteenth century.

The top dances to watch at this event are the 21 black hat dance, the Dance of Angry Deities, the cremation site dance, and so on. This event is held on the tenth day of the eighth lunar month, which falls in September or October.

Top Thimphu Tshechu Festival Attractions

  • Exploring the 17th-century Tashichhodzong defense
  • Observing tantric Buddhist rites
  • Masked dancing, music performances, and other activities
  • Shopping
  • Experimenting with traditional costumes

Paro Tshechu

Paro Tshechu Festival

This is the spring celebration, and you may see monks and laymen rejoicing together. Locals dress brightly and some even dress up in costumes. Masks are worn to portray demons and Gods in Buddhist mythology stories. Similarly,  the finest aspect of the celebration is the display of a four-story-high, 350-year-old religious scroll. This festival is typically held in March. 

Top Paro Tshechu Festival Attractions

  • Taking in traditional dance, music, and other cultural events
  • Explore Bhutan’s middle valleys.
  • Enjoy farmhouse visits and village excursions.
  • Visit the marketplaces for shopping adventures.
  • During this festival, monks teach meditation and traditional cooking. Participate in those workshops.

Jambay Lhakhang Drup

Jambay Lhakhang Drup festival

This is similar to the other cultural festivals. It is accompanied by mask dances, rituals, and other festivities. However, this holiday is more elaborately celebrated than other celebrations. The fire ritual is the festival’s most famous celebration, in which locals rush beneath a burning gate made of dry grass. 

Similarly,  another one-of-a-kind festival highlight is the Dance of Treasure. At this festival, masked dancers execute a unique naked dance in the middle of the night. This dance is thought to bless infertile ladies with the ability to bear children.

Top Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival Attractions

  • Taking in traditional dance, music, and other cultural events
  • Enjoy one-of-a-kind local blessings such as naked dancing, fire blessing, and others.
  • During the event, explore the Jambay Lhakhang temple.

Punakha Drubchen

Punakha Festival and Drubchen Tour

This celebration is a re-enactment of Bhutan’s 17th-century fight against Tibet. Bhutanese militiamen dress up as either side of the conflict and reenact it. Likewise, this celebration commemorates the bravery of small Bhutanese communities that stepped forward to drive away the Tibetan army. Similarly,  the Punakha Tshechu festival follows immediately after this. Tourists are normally not permitted to participate in this enactment.

Punakha Drubchen’s Top Festival Attractions

  • Investigate the Punakha Dzong complex.
  • Participate in Buddhist discourses given by monks.
  • Take in traditional dances and ceremonies.

Haa Summer Festival

This festival is well-known for two key features. The first is the spectacular setting in which the festival is held. This festival takes place in the verdant valley of Haa, where visitors may experience the colorful lifestyle of nomadic herders. The traditional culture, which is represented by this event, is the second aspect of this celebration.

Several local games are held during this festival. Tourists are also welcome to participate in traditional pastimes like yak riding, dancing, and others. Similarly,  this celebration will feature a huge feast, making it the ideal time to sample the local cuisine. Likewise, it is one of the Major festivals in Bhutan. 

Haa Summer Festival’s Top Festival Attractions

  • View the flower exhibition
  • Enjoy folklore via dance and song.
  • Explore the valley, go on a trek to surrounding locations, and relax in Paro Town.
  • Taste Bhutanese celebratory cuisine at feasts held during the holiday. Try the region’s local brew as well.
  • Stay in one of the local homes to experience the rural lifestyle.
  • Purchase artifact

Wangdue Phodrang Tshechu

The event takes its name from the region in which it is held, Wangdue Phodrang. This festival is well-known for its native music and ornate speeches known as Lozeys. This is an annual festival that has been held since the 17th century. 

Many people visit Bhutan during this festival to witness the Ox Dance. This dance is thought to ensure a happy afterlife. Similarly,  throughout the three days, there are various different celebrations. The celebration concludes with the unrolling of massive sacred scrolls.

Top Wangdue Phodrang Tshechu Festival Attractions

  • Taking in traditional dance, music, and other cultural events
  • Investigate the Phobjikha Valley.
  • Explore the local cuisine and religious practices.

Sakteng Festival

This is an excellent time to visit Bhutan for religious purposes. This festival is centered on religion. The festival is held in Eastern Bhutan’s Sakten Valley. Locals attend this festival dressed in traditional attire. Visitors are served ara, a regional wine. Similarly,  throughout the festival, there will be several dance performances. The Yak dance and Ache Lhamo are the greatest.

Sakteng Festival’s top festival attractions

  • Taking in traditional dance, music, and other cultural events
  • Participate in the festivities with the locals.
  • Sample the local wine and cuisine.

Matsutake Festival

If you enjoy food, this is the festival for you. This is Bhutan’s cuisine competition, which attracts a large number of travelers to the vicinity. During this festival, you may sample a whole lot of distinguished mushrooms discovered exclusively in Bhutan. 

Locals and travelers alike pass across the place to pick out mushrooms throughout this pageant. Similarly, these Major Festivals in Bhutan play a critical function in the records of Bhutan.

This festival takes place in Ura Valley, where locals welcome visitors into their homes, offering the opportunity to learn their traditional cooking techniques, family recipes, and various sports.

Matsutake Festival’s top festival attractions

  • Locals will accompany you on a mushroom hunt in the valley.
  • Participate in nearby celebrations.
  • Sample the neighborhood wine and cuisine.

Gomphu Kora Festival

This holiday is observed throughout the country’s eastern region. The festival was inspired by an ancient meditation cave. According to legend, the deity of Gomphu Kora (the name of the place where the festival is held) destroyed an evil spirit at this particular location. 

There are various mural paintings from the 10th to 15th centuries AD. Every year, this festival is held for three days. Locals undertake a circumambulation of the area. It is one of Bhutan’s most sacred events. Locals from all over the country walk to the location to attend the festival.

Gomphu Kora Festival’s top festival attractions

  • Taste the immortality water that trickles out of the cave once a year (this does not happen every year).
  • Circumambulate at night for a one-of-a-kind experience.
  • Keep an eye out for local weddings and other celebrations.

Merak Tshechu

Merak Tshechu is a three-day annual event held in the lush eastern side of Merak Valley. The valley is 3000 meters above sea level. This festival brings you as near to nature as you can go. This valley has its own culture. 

The inhabitants don’t use money. Likewise, it is one of the Major festivals in Bhutan. Yak wool is used to produce clothing. This event lasts three days and includes traditional dances such as Ache Lhamo, Yak Dance, folk music performances, and others.

Merak Tshechu’s top festival attractions

  • Taking in traditional dance, music, and other cultural events
  • Participate in the festivities with the locals.

How to travel to Bhutan

Until 1960, it was impossible to enter the Kingdom of Bhutan. The access was particularly difficult due to dense jungles in the south and steep ice passes in the north. However, due to planned economic expansion, it is now much more accessible via numerous international and domestic airports.

Bhutan is easily accessible by plane, train, and road from a variety of nations. Similarly, Bhutan has direct flights from many countries. By land, there are two entrance points via Phuentsholing and Gelephu, which connect with the Indian states of West Bengal and Assam, respectively. 

How to Reach Bhutan From India

Bhutan is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. This gorgeous Himalayan region was previously so impoverished that visiting it was a pipe dream. The Bhutanese government, however, has made the country more accessible via strategic planning and economic development.

It is easily accessible by air, train, and road from many Indian states and towns.

How to Reach Bhutan from Nepal?

Bhutan from Nepal

Surprisingly, the closest sites of Nepal and Bhutan are only approximately 65 kilometers apart. However, due to border laws, one must use other means to cross the borders of each country!

By Air: Flying to Bhutan from Nepal is the most convenient option. There are direct flights from Nepal’s Tribhuvan International Airport to Bhutan’s Paro International Airport. Similarly,  the trip takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Paro International Airport is one of the most beautiful in the world.

Likewise,  traveling by road from Nepal to Bhutan takes you through the Indian state of West Bengal, via Siliguri. In this instance, the route to the Bhutan border will be via Phuentsholing.

How to Reach Bhutan from China?

Between China and Bhutan, there are no flights, direct or indirect. Bhutan can, however, be reached from China. There are daily flights from a lot more countries to Bhutan. India, Nepal, Bangkok, Singapore, and other nations that are relatively close to China are also included.

If you want to go to Bhutan, you can fly to these countries and then to Paro International Airport. Nepal is the greatest option, as it takes only 1 hour and 30 minutes. You can travel to Bhutan to celebrate some of the Major Festivals in Bhutan. 

By Road: It is not possible to go directly from China to Bhutan. Those who wish to experience the thrill of driving from China to Bhutan can travel to India. You can travel to Guwahati and then take an exciting road trip to Bhutan through magnificent hills and mountains.

When is the Best time to travel to Bhutan? 

The best time to journey to Bhutan relies upon your choices and the activities you need to interact with at some point during your visit. Likewise,  Bhutan has wonderful seasons, and each has its particular charm. 

Similarly, the maximum popular instances to go to Bhutan are all through the spring and autumn months. Here’s a breakdown of the exceptional times to travel to Bhutan primarily based on the seasons:

Spring (March to May):

Spring is one of the most favored instances to visit Bhutan due to its high-quality climate and the beauty of blooming plants and rhododendrons.

Likewise,  the temperatures are slight, with sunlight hours ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F) in most parts. 

Spring is a wonderful time for hiking and hiking, as the trails aren’t too muddy or slippery, and the landscapes are lush and colorful.

Autumn (September to November):

Autumn is another best time to go to Bhutan, particularly for hiking and cultural studies. Likewise, the climate is generally clear and dry, with temperatures similar to spring.

Furthermore, the autumn months are ideal for witnessing Bhutan’s gala’s, as many most important Tsechus (festivals) are held at some stage in this season. The famous Thimphu Tsechu usually takes place in September or October.

Winter (December to February):

Bhutan’s winter can be bloodless, especially in higher altitudes, but it can still be a pleasant time to visit if you decide on fewer crowds and decreased fees.

If you’re inquisitive about birdwatching, winter is a superb time, as migratory birds can be spotted in the lowland areas.

Be careful of less warm temperatures, with daytime highs starting from 8°C to fifteen°C (46°F to 59°F), and it could drop beneath freezing at night time.

Summer (June to August):

Summer in Bhutan corresponds to the monsoon season, characterized by using heavy rainfall, especially in July and August.

Likewise, while the nation-state is lush and green in the course of this time, trekking and outdoor activities can be challenging due to the muddy trails and the danger of landslides.

Likewise, if you don’t mind rain and wish to discover Bhutan’s cultural websites or experience a quieter enjoy with fewer travelers, you may nevertheless visit in the course of the summertime.

Ultimately, the excellent time to visit Bhutan relies upon your pursuits and tolerance for special weather situations. Keep in mind that Bhutan has a policy of regulating tourism through a daily tariff, which incorporates accommodation, meals, transportation, and a certified guide.

Therefore, it is an amazing concept to plan your trip nicely earlier and book via a certified excursion operator to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to this lovely Himalayan state. Similarly, these Major Festivals in Bhutan play a vital role in the history of Bhutan.

Are you planning on the Bhutan Festivals Tour? If Yes! Book Now and experience a great trip.


Why are festivals important in Bhutan?

While Tshechus, or festivals, can take place throughout the Tibetan lunar year, they typically occur on the tenth day and hold significant social and spiritual importance. Likewise, they give isolated people the opportunity to gather together, dance, be happy, and learn from Padmasambhava’s teachings.

What is the local festival in Bhutan?

Thimphu Tsechu is one of Bhutan’s most important set-piece festivities, with immense grandeur and color. Similarly,  thousands of people attend the three-day ceremony at Tashichho Dzong, Thimphu’s principal monastery.

What is the religious festival of Bhutan?

A Tshechu (Dzongkha: meaning “day ten”) is any of the annual religious Bhutanese celebrations held on the tenth day of the lunar Tibetan calendar in each district or dzongkhag of Bhutan. Similarly,  the month is determined by the location. And, it is some of the best times to celebrate some of the Major Festivals in Bhutan. 

Which is the best festival in Bhutan?

Paro Tsechu is one of Bhutan’s most well-known festivities. Likewise, it is normally a 5-day holiday in early April, and the Paro Tshechu Festival in 2023 will take place from April 2 to April 6. Likewise, the celebration represents the locals’ faith and belief, and it is in the form of Tshechu. 

What is the most famous holiday in Bhutan?

The three-day Thimphu Festival, one of Bhutan’s greatest festivities, begins on the 10th day of the eighth lunar month. Likewise, the Dance of the Black Hats and masked movements performed by monks are examples of costumed dances. Similarly,  Bhutan has some famous holidays so they can celebrate some of the Major Festivals in Bhutan during this time. 

What is Worshiped in Bhutan?

In some communities in eastern Bhutan, they worship phalluses with flowers, ara (Red Colored Hooch), and milk every year during a specific period to seek protection from evil spirits. In central Bhutan, they dip a wooden phallus in the glasses before serving the beverages to the guests.

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