Bhutan is one of the most stunning backwoods countries on this earth. Though, this country is actually very famous among the travelers for its exuberant religious festivals known as Tshechus. The meaning of Tshechu is the ‘10th day’ and every temple and Dzong of Bhutan holds one Tshechu in every year. Each temple hosts their Tshechu on different months, as these Tshechus corresponds to the birthday of Guru Rimpoche in the 8thcentury. Tshechu’s are remarkably significant events in the Bhutanese calendar. And the entire villages and cities of this country join these festivals to receive blessings. It is said that to wash the sins away every single Bhutanese person must join at least one masked dance.
So, if you are traveling to this mystical land, don’t miss the events like Paro and Thimphu festivals, as these are the most spectacular sites to witness. Below I am listing 10 biggest festivals of Bhutan.
Top 10 Colorful Festivals in Bhutan
Thimphu Tshechu Festival
In Bhutan, Thimphu Tshechu is the most popular and by far the biggest festival to enjoy. In this festival, you can be a witness of people; gather together in fine and colorful attires to become a part of this festivity. In every part of this Thimpu Tshechu, you will see vibrant colors, activities, plays and dance performances. The main attraction of this festival is the colorful mask dances; where people and monks dance their heart out to celebrate life and cheeriness of Bhutan.
Duration: 3 days
Location- Thimpu, Bhutan
Jambay Lhakhang Festival
All together, Jambay Lhakhang festival means naked dancing, fire dancing, and mask dancing. This festival divides into two parts; one is Mewang – the fire ceremony, it features locals dancing under a flaming structure made of dry grass, and another one is Tercham- ‘Dance of Treasure’, this part of the festivities take place in the mid-night where masked dancers and monks perform naked.
Duration: 4 days
When: during October – November.
Paro Tshechu celebrated in Bhutan is a massive festival and the biggest springtime event. Like Thimphu festival, thousands of people and tourists gather in Paro to enjoy, socialize and dance. Here you can see Monks and Layman all dresses up in glittering brocade outfits and rebuilds famous legends in Buddhism Bhutan.
Duration: 3-4 days
When: March or April.
In the festival calendar, Wangduephodrang festival is a fairly recent addition. But it already became one of the largest Tshechus in Bhutan. The Wangduephodrang Tshechu is mainly famous for its ‘Dance of the Ox’ or the Raksha Mangcham.
Duration: 3 days
When: during October – November according to the Lunar Calendar.
Punakha Drubchen Festival
In this country, Out of all the festivals, Punakha Drubchen is the most unique one. Punakha Drubchen celebrates to the victory of Bhutan and to pay tribute to the countrymen for whom, Tibet was unable to take over Bhutan.
Duration: 3-4 days
When: February or March.
Haa Summer Festival
Haa Summer Festival is also one of the recently found festivals in Bhutan. The festival is mainly devoted to the nomads of Haa Valley, and in this festival Locals and tourists come together to celebrate the heritage, religion, culture, and sports of Bhutan.
Duration: 2-3 days
When: every year in July, since 2012.
Nomad festival celebrated in Bumthang, and here you will get to see the real nomadic people coming together from all parts of Bhutan. This festival amazed people by its unforgettable traditional performance of the nomads. Be a part of this festival to understand their culture, traditions, and way of living. The cheerful environment, colorful outfits, and the backdrop of incredible landscape make this festival an overwhelming experience.
Sakteng festival, celebrated in Sakteng valley is one of the most vibrant and colorful Tshechu of Bhutan.
Apart from being just a festival, it also serves as an occasion for social gathering and merrymaking. Here you will see the people in traditional clothes who celebrate this festival with Ara, the local wine, Music and folk dances.
Highlights: Yak dance and Ache Lhamo.
Festival time: June
Takin Festival is one of the most celebrated and popular festivals held in Jigme Dorji National Park of Gasa Dzongkhag, in Bhutan. For every visitor, it is a one time opportunity to enjoy the sight of the Takin, national animal of Bhutan which is a rare and endangered species. However, this festival is not only based on this majestic animal, here you can get the opportunity to engage in good trekking, enjoy hot spring baths and do shopping of exclusive handicraft items like dresses, bamboos, leather products, carpets, tents and etc.
Highlights: Performance of Takin.
Festival time: February
Trongsa Tshechu is an ancient festival which celebrated annually in the courtyard of Trongsa. This festival attracts people from all walks of life and this elaborate affair continues for 3 days. The main attraction of this festival is the Traditional mask dance and on the last day, a sacred Throngdrol is displayed by the monks.
Highlights: the blessings of sacred Throngdrol
Festival time: December
It is believed that, those who witness a Tshechu will be blessed with good luck, and will have their all wishes come true. I personally recommend you one of the best travel agency in Bhutan : Country Route Holidays, as they designed all the Bhutan Tour Packages in such a manner, which provide customers the maximum enjoyment with the best value of money.