Festivals In Bhutan
Festivals or "Tsechus" in Bhutan are rich and happy expressions of our ancient Buddhist culture. The festivals are held to honour Guru Rinpoche, the saint who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan in the seventh century. The Tsechus are held during the auspicious days of the bhutanese calendar and either held before the onset of the agricultural season or post harvest.
These centuries old unbroken tradition is marked by a series of spiritual mask dances, folk dances and traditional music. The festivals in Bhutan are a rich form of the oral history tradition which is still vibrant in the society,the spiritual dances convey the values of mythology and spirituality through the dance dramas.
Whether in a big town or a small village, the tshechus are grand events where entire communities come together to witness religious mask dances, receive blessings and socialise.
There are over thirty of the annual festivals held in the country each year, we will be happy to customise an ideal itinerary that will enable you to take part in the festivities. Because the festivals are planned around the Lunar calendar, and are subject to influences such as local farming and auspicious events, planning for a festival sometimes demands flexibility in the schedule. We often need to make changes to a trip to suit late changes to festival schedules, and prefer to plan trips no more than 12 months in advance.
Whatever changes come up, we do our best to ensure you get an opportunity to engage with the beauty and spirituality of the festivals. If it is a priority for you to join a festival when you visit Bhutan, then let us know so we can include this in the itinerary planning and choice of travel dates.
The big festivals in Paro and Thimphu are often very popular with travellers, and as you head further east you can find increasingly smaller festivals with fewer tourists. For some travellers a big festival event is more impressive and memorable, while others prefer festivals in smaller villages where the experience can be very intimate. Different travellers seek different experiences, and we seek to recognise what will suit you best.
Take a look at the most recent list of festival dates by clicking here and downloading a PDF for the 2017 calendar.