March 21,2024 – March 25,2024.
Venue: Paro Dzong
Paro Tshechu stands as one of Bhutan’s most renowned festivals, offering a captivating glimpse into the country’s ancient living culture. This Buddhist celebration, known as a Tshechu, pays homage to Guru Rimpoche, the revered saint responsible for introducing Buddhism to Bhutan. What makes Paro Tshechu particularly special is the unveiling of a vast silk Thangka, a sacred scroll of profound significance that drapes an entire edifice. This “thongdroel,” as it’s called in Bhutan, is a religious pictorial scroll displayed for just a few hours at dawn on the festival’s last day, granting blessings to those who lay eyes upon it. In Bhutanese, “thongdroel” signifies “conferring liberation through its mere sight.” This tour also seizes the opportunity to explore the springtime splendor with enchanting hikes through the countryside, including a visit to a Rhododendron forest in Phobjikha and the Lamperi Rhododendron Festival near Dochu La Pass. The sacred locales of Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha take center stage as well.
October 23, 2024 – October 24,2024.
This festival is relatively new, with the first festival taking place in 2016 to mark the celebration of the birth of HRH the Gyalsey, since then this festival has skyrocketed in popularity because of events such as the marathon, showcasing the live style and way of live of the people from the highlands of Bhutan.
The festival aims to showcase the unique culture and traditions of the highlanders, particularly those living in the remote areas of Bhutan.
The Royal Highland Festival features a variety of events, including traditional sports, cultural performances, yak beauty contests, traditional food exhibitions, and religious ceremonies.Given the significance of yaks in the highlands, the festival often includes a Yak Show, where locals showcase the strength and skills of their yaks.
September 13,2024 – September 15,2024.
Venue : Tashichho Dzong
Thimphu Tsechu stands as one of the most significant and vibrant festivals in Bhutan, offering a captivating glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage. Tsechu, meaning “day ten” in Dzongkha, the official language of Bhutan, is an annual religious festival celebrated on the tenth day of a month of the Bhutanese lunar calendar.
Thimphu Tsechu typically spans several days, with the main celebrations concentrated on the third day. The festival usually occurs in September or October, coinciding with the harvest season. The timing adds an extra layer of joy to the festivities, as Bhutanese families come together to celebrate both the spiritual and agricultural aspects of their lives.
At the heart of Thimphu Tsechu are the mesmerizing mask dances known as “Cham.” These dances, performed by monks, narrate stories from Buddhist mythology, impart moral lessons, and showcase the triumph of good over evil. Each dance is carefully choreographed and adorned with elaborate costumes and vibrant masks, making it a visual spectacle that captivates both locals and visitors.
Thimphu Tsechu is not only a religious event but also a time for the community to come together. Locals dress in their finest traditional attire, adding a kaleidoscope of colors to the festivities. Families exchange blessings, and the atmosphere is filled with joy, laughter, and a sense of unity.
For visitors to Bhutan, attending Thimphu Tsechu offers an immersive experience into the country’s cultural tapestry. It provides an opportunity to witness the unique blend of spirituality, artistry, and community bonding that defines Bhutanese festivals.
Venue: Town festival Ground
Haa valley is an elevated alpine valley, located at 2 hours drive from Paro valley via Chelela pass. The Haa Summer Festival is a lively and uplifting celebration of traditional living-culture, nomadic lifestyles, unique Bhutanese cuisine, traditional sports and religious performances. The festival has risen in popularity among both locals and tourists in recent years and it is one of the main attractions of Haa valley during this time of the year.While in Haa you can also see the rare flower called the white poppy (Meconopsis Superba) which is native to Haa valley.
After spending the day at the festival, tourists can also experience the night at one of the many village home stays and enjoy the hospitality of the local people of Haa Valley.
Venue: Kurjey Lhakhang, Choekhor
Kurjey Tsechu is one of the most inportat festivals in Bumthang and it is celebrated in the popular Kurjey Monastery. Local People of Jakar and Kurjey villages and also increasing number of people from all over Bhutan and the world attend the Tshechu to pay obeisance to Guru Rinpoche who brought Buddhism to Bhutan. It is a one-day festival and the chams/dances include the Guru Tshengye and Shinjay cham performed by the monks of Kurjey Lhakhang. It is then closed with unfurling of a giant Buddha/Guru Thangka (scroll) painting known as thongdrel. The festival is fully supported and funded by the government of Bhutan.