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Home Destinations Bhutan Country Info Some Popular Festivals in Bhutan

Some Popular Festivals

Thimphu Tsechu last for four days during which mask and historical folk dances are performed in the courtyard of the Tashichhodzong. All the offices and institutes in Thimphu will remain closed for four days to mark the Tsechu. It last for four days during which mask and historical folk dances are performed in the courtyard of the Tashichhodzong.

During Tsechus, the dances are performed by monks as well as by laymen. The Tsechu is a religious festival and by attending it, it is believed one gains merits. It is also a yearly social gathering where the people come together to rejoice dressed in all their finery.

According to the tradition of Lama Gongdue, the annual Thimphu Tsechu introduced in 1670 on the eighth month of the Bhutanese calendar during the reign of the fourth Desi ruler, Tenzin Rabgye (1638-1696).

It will take place over four days in autumn towards end of September to commemorate the birth anniversary of Guru Rimpoche. From the time of Gyalsey Tenzin Rabgye, based on various relevant biographies and autobiographies of saints and rulers of the past, compassionate mask dances in the form of peaceful and wrathful figures of most Ter-chams (sacred dances) have been composed and are being presented for the well being of those present on the occasion, according to the Royal Academy of Performing Arts (RAPA).

Jambay Lhakhang Drub Festival:

Bumthang’s tsechus are well-known and even its small local festivals are a privilege to attend to catch an insight of the culture and spirit of Bhutan. Jambay lhakhang Festival is one of the most popular among all the festivals in Bhutan.The festival is held for duel reasons; to commemorate an establishment of Jambay Lhakhang Monastery in the 7th century and to honor Guru Rimpoche, a saint who introduced Tantric form of Buddhism in Bhutan. A variety of traditional and mask dances are performed and each dance bear significant meaning and importance.

This festival is one of the most important in Bhutan and its high light is the 'Mewang" - the fire ceremony and the " Tercham" - a religious dance. A fire dance is held in the evening to bless infertile women so that they may bear children. The festival dances were composed mostly by Terton Pema Lingpa, the great treasure discoverer of the 15th century.

Trongsa Festival:

This festival normally is falls between late November to mid December.

The local people in this valley celebrate their annual five-day festival after the harvest during the winter. This festival is held in the courtyard of the fortress is one of the popular festivals in Bhutan. The festival begins with mask dances and ends with unfurling of huge ancient old Thangkha (Buddhist Religious Scroll) that is hung from a 3-story building.

One can truly appreciate the beauty of Bhutan in winter. There aren’t many tourist in the main areas, the crops are in village rooftops are bright red with the colors of drying chillis, and the pace of life in the villages is slow as villagers spend most of their time basking in the winter sun. The sky is crystal clear and bright sunny weather; the snowcapped mountains forms a backdrop of brilliant white against the azure skies.

Mongar & Trashigang Tsechu:

These festivals usually falls between November and mid-December. Its annual performance also marks respect for the great saint Guru Rimpoche. Besides, these are occassion of socializing, feasting and enjoyment among the local people.

TENTATIVE FESTIVAL DATES FOR 2010

S. No

FESTIVAL

PLACE

DATES

1

PUNAKHA DRUBCHEN

 

PUNAKHA

FEB 18TH – FEB 22ND

2

PUNAKHA TSHECHU

PUNAKHA

FEB 23RD – FEB 25TH

3

CHORTEN KORA

 

TRASHIYANGTSE

FEB 28TH – MAR 15TH

4

GOMKORA

 

TRASHIGANG

MAR 23rd – MAR 25TH  

5

PARO TSHECHU

 

PARO

MAR 26TH – MAR 30TH

6

CHUKHA TSHECHU

 

CHUKHA

MAR 28TH – MAR 30TH

7

URA TSHECHU

 

BUMTHANG

APRIL 24TH – APRIL 28TH

8

NIMALUNG TSHECHU

 

BUMTHANG

JUNE 19TH –JUNE 21ST

9

KURJEY TSHECHU

 

BUMTHANG

JUNE 21ST

 

10

THIMPHU DRUBCHEN

THIMPHU

 

SEPT 12TH  – SEPT 16TH

11

WANGDI TSHECHU

 

WANGDUE PHODRANG

SEPT 15TH  – SEPT 17TH

12

TAMSHINGPHALA CHOEPA

 

BUMTHANG

SEPT 16TH – SEPT 18TH

13

THIMPHU TSHECHU

 

THIMPHU

SEPT 17TH – SEPT 19TH

14

TANGBI MANI

 

BUMTHANG

SEPT 22ND – SEPT 24TH

15

JAMBAY LHAKHANG DRUP

 

BUMTHANG

OCT 22ND – OCT 26TH

16

PRAKHAR TSHECHU

 

BUMTHANG

OCT 23RD – OCT 25TH

17

MONGAR TSHECHU

 

MONGAR

NOV 13TH – NOV 16TH

18

PEMAGATSHEL TSHECHU

 

PEMAGATSHEL

NOV 13TH - NOV 16TH

19

TRASHIGANG TSHECHU

 

TRASHIGANG

 

NOV 14TH  – NOV 17TH

20

NALAKHANG TSHECHU

BUMTHANG

 

NOV 21ST – NOV 23RD

21

TRONGSA TSHECHU

 

TRONGSA

DEC 15TH  – DEC 17TH

22

LHUNTSE TSHECHU

 

LHUNTSE

 

DEC 15TH  – DEC 17TH

 

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