Festivals in Bhutan are known for their richness, vibrancy and happiness. The ancient expressions of Buddhist culture and legendary victories are re-enacted and celebrated around the country with such pomp and show that it attracts visitors and tourists from around the globe.

Most of these festivals are dedicated to Guru Rimpoche – the saint who introduced Bhutan to Buddhism in the early 8th Century.

The mystical dances, engaging performances, brave fire events, mysterious naked dances, enlightening re-creations and such comprise the festive celebrations. Sometimes there are rare displays of silk paintings and/or some ancient scrolls.

While there are numerous unique events such as a literary festival, an international marathon, international biking race and more, however, the most important event takes place in the form of Annual Festivals is Tshechu festival. The Tshechus are celebrated to commemorate ‘good triumphs over evil’ or to depict significant historical events especially surrounding the life of Bhutan’s patron saint, Guru Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche) who first introduced Buddhism in Bhutan. The colourful event draws as much as 3000 people and there is inevitably a great deal of socializing and family gathering. It is an opportunity for people to relax and forget daily routine, to dress in their finest clothes, jewellery and witnesses various religious mask dance but, more importantly, it is an occasion for prayer and blessings. The Tshechu is a religious event celebrated on the tenth day of a month of the lunar calendar corresponding to the birthday of Guru Rimpoche, however, the exact month of the Tshechu varies from place to place and temple to temple.

Bhutanese strongly believes that everyone must attend a Tshechu and witness the mask dances at least once to in order to receive blessings and purify their sins. Every mask dance performed during a Tshechu has a special meaning or a story behind it and many are based on stories and incidents from as long ago as the 8th century, during the life of Guru Padmasambhava. In monasteries, the mask dances are performed by monks and in remote villages, they are performed jointly by monks and village men.

Two of the most popular Tshechus in the country are Paro and Thimphu Tshechus in terms of participation and audience. Besides the locals, many tourists from across the world are attracted to these unique, colourful and exciting displays of traditional culture. Overall Tshechu festival will consist of a minimum 3 days, however, in some regions there will even exceed 5days.

Thimphu Tshechu

Tshechu Duration: 3days Event date: September, 19th to 21st, 2018 Event location: Thimphu Dzong Tshechu Overview Along with Paro Tshechu, The Thimphu Tshechu attracted more than 3,000 travellers per year to Bhutan. Many people agree that the occasion of Thimphu Tshechu is the best time off to visit Bhutan, as the weather ...

Paro Tshechu

Tshechu Duration: 5days Event date: 17th -21st March 2019 Event location: Paro Dzong Paro Tsechu is one of the most popular festivals in Bhutan. Featuring dances performed by trained monks and laymen in amazing masks and costumes, Tsechus (festivals) are one of the best ways to experience the ancient living ...

Punakha Drubchen and Tsechu combined

Drubchen Duration: 3days Tshechu Duration: 3days Event date of Drubchen: 12th -14th February 2019 Event date of Tshechu: 15th -17th February 2019 Event location: Punakha Dzong In the 17th century, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal of Punakha in western Bhutan defeated the invading Tibetan forces which led to the unification of the ...

Jomolhari Mountain Festival Trek

Event date: 4th to 5th, October, 2018 Event location: Dangojang, Thimphu Dzongkhag The two-day event organized near the base of Mount. Jomolhari celebrates the culture of communities living near the foothills of Jomolhari mountains located along one of the most scenic trekking routes in Bhutan. The celebration praises the way of ...

Druk Wangyal Tshechu

Event date: 13 December, 2018 Event location: Dochula Pass, Thimphu Dzongkhag The Druk Wangyel Festival was established in 2011 in commemoration of His Majesty the Fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck who sacrificed his own life for the people of Bhutan and sovereignty of the Kingdom leading the Bhutanese Military operation in Southern Bhutan ...

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