Bhutan Festival Schedule

All tshechus (festivals in Bhutan) are celebrated as religious festivals commemorating the deeds of Buddha, to honour Guru Rimpoche Padmasambhava who brought Buddhism to the country. Tshechu are important events and celebrated throughout the kingdom. The tshechus are the most colourful of all Bhutanese gatherings and celebrated in every Dzong (fortress). Local tshechu are celebrated in each district. In addition to tshechu, there are annual festivals which are celebrated with great fanfare traditional and colourful dances are performed by trained dancers and monks. The people dress in their finest clothes and jewelries, enjoy feasting, socialize and make merry. The popular tshechus are celebrated in Thimphu, Paro, Wangdue Phodrang, Trongsa, Bumthang, Mongar and Trashigang. Two of the most famous tshechus are held at Paro in the spring and at Thimpu in the autumn. These tshechus are celebrated for three to five days with great fanfare.

Festivals in Bhutan are called tshechu and are huge cultural events that are a must do for all travelers to Bhutan

Most monasteries stage their own tsechu at different times of the year to honor Guru Rimpoche who brought Buddhism to the kingdom in the 8th century, there's a festival on practically every other week.  A crowd of thousands, decksout in fine embroidered silk, watched as masked dancers whirl, leap and somersault monks dress as demons and demi-gods perform ritual dances, chants and lead the crowd in folk songs. Meanwhile mischievous atsara or clowns keep the crowds back with whips and wooden phalluses and teased and tickled unsuspecting spectators. On the last day, they unfurl the thongdrol, a sacred multicolored portrait of Guru Rimpoche that covers an entire wall outside the dzong. One glance at the tapestry is said to be enough to lead a true believer to enlightenment. 

TENTATIVE FESTIVAL DATES FOR 2016

SN FESTIVAL PLACE DATES
1 NOMAD FESTIVAL MUMTHANG 23 FEBRUARY
2 PUNAKHA DRUBCHEN PUNAKHA DZONG, PUNAKHA 14-16 FEBRUARY
3 PUNAKHA TSHECHU PUNAKHA DZONG,PUNAKHA 17-19 FEBRUARY
4 THARPALING THONGDROL THARPLING LHAKHANG,CHHUMI,BUMTHANG 22 FEBRUARY
5 CHHORTEN KORA CHORTEN KORA,TRASHIYANGTSHE 22 FEBRUARY
6 TALO TSHECHU TALO GONPO,PUNAKHA 16-18 MARCH
7 GOMPHU KORA GOM KORA LAKHANG,TRASHIGANG 17-18 MARCH
8 GASA TSHECHU GASA DZONG,GASA 14-17 MARCH
9 ZHEMGANG TSHECHU ZHEMGANG DZONG,ZHEMGANG 16-18 MARCH
10 PARO TSHECHU RINPONG DZONG,PARO 20-24 MARCH
11 RHODODENDRON FESTIVAL LAMPERI BOTANICAL GARDEN, DOCHULA,THIMPU 18-20 APRIL
12 DAMKHAR TSHECHU DAMKHAR,CHUMMI,BHUMTHANG 16-18 APRIL
13 URA YAKCHOE URA LHAKHANG,BUMTHANG 18-23 APRIL
14 SAKTANG FESTIVAL SAKTANG KHAKHANG, TRANSHIGANG 12-16 JUNE
15 NIMALUNG TSHECHU NIMALUNG DRATSHANG,CHUMMI,BUMTHANG 13-15 JUNE
16 TRELDA TSHECHU DRAMETSE, MONGAR 12-24 JUNE
17 WANGDUE TSHECHU TENCHOLING ARMY GROUND,WANGDUEPHODRANG 09-11 SEPTEMBER
18 THIMPU TSHECHU TASHI CHHODZONG,THIMPU 11-13 SEPTEMBER
19 GANGTEY TSHECHU GANGTEY GONPA,PHOBJIKHA,WANGDUEPHODRANG 09-11 SEPTEMBER
20 JAKAR TSHECHU JAKAR DZONG,BUMTHANG 06-10 NOVEMBER
21 TRONGSA TSHECHU TRONGSA DZONG,TRONGSA 08-10 DECEMBER
22 LHUENTSE TSHECHU LHUENTSE DZONG, LHUENTSE 07-11 DECEMBER