Traditional festivals are another reason to visit Bhutan. These traditional festivals in Bhutan are held very year in various temples monasteries and dzongs across the country.
Traditional Festival: Tshechu
The Tshechu is a religious event celebrated on tenth day of a month in the lunar calendar. It does not happen every month. The month depends on the area in Bhutan and the temples.
What are Tshechus?
They are large gatherings of people from various villages. These villagers come together to witness the religious mask dances, which are based on folktales from as long as 8th century, about the life of Guru Padmasambhava and to receive blessings from lamas. This Bhutanese traditional festival is colourful with vibrant outfits and cultural dances.
Also read: Bhutan 101
Festivals in Bhutan
Everyone must attend a Tshechu and witness the mask dances at least once to receive the blessings and wash away the sins. Every mask dances performed has a special meaning.
In monasteries the mask dances are performed by monks and in remote villages they are performed jointly by monks and village men. Among many Tshechus in the country most popular are Paro and Thimphu Tshechus in terms of participation and audience. Besides the locals, many tourists from across the world are attracted to this unique, colorful and exciting culture.
Iconic Bhutan Festivals
- January 2 – Winter Solstice (Western Bhutan only)
- January 24 – Traditional Day of Offerings (a day to offer food to hungry creatures – celebrated as new year in Eastern Bhutan)
- February 22 -23 – ( Year of the Water Dragon) – New Year (losar)
- February 21-23 (every year) – Birth Anniversary of HM the Fifth King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck
- May 1 (not fixed) – Shabdrung Kuchoe (commemorates the passing of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1651 CE)
- June 29 (not fixed) – Anniversary of the Birth of Guru Rinpoche
- July 23 (not fixed) – The first sermon of Lord Buddha
- September 21 (not fixed) – Thimphu Drubchen (Thimphu Only)
- September 25-27 (not fixed) – Thimphu Tshechu(Thimphu Only)
- October 24 (not fixed) – Hindu ceremony of Dashain
- November 1 (not fixed) – Coronation Day of His Majesty the King
- November 11 (every year) – Birth Anniversary of HM the fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck
- December 17 (every year) – National day, commemorating the 1907 coronation of the first hereditary king of Bhutan, Ugyen Wangchuck
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