Witness the spectacle of a Bhutanese Festival

The festivals (or Tsechu) of Bhutan are wonderfully fascinating affairs and famous the world over for their combination of riotous colour, exuberant atmosphere and ancient religious tradition.

Historically festivals were a means of gathering communities together to celebrate auspicious religious occasions and for monks to impart the relevant wisdom from religious texts, to a largely illiterate population, through the medium of song and dance. Festival dates were also an opportunity for an agricultural community to stop work for a few days, dress up, make merry and perhaps meet a future partner. In many ways today's festivals serve the same purpose but the most important now make allowances for the advent of tourism.

Festivals take place throughout the year but the biggest, and most colourful, take place in the Spring and Autumn which coincides with the best times to visit Bhutan. If you are able to combine your trip with one of the major festivals such as those that take place in Paro and Thimphu it would really add that extra bit of spice to your tour of Bhutan.

Please see below for a list of the most important festivals throughout the year and ask us how we can incorporate one into your itinerary. However please note that accommodation during festival times is at a premium and so it is important to book early. 

Festival dates for 2018

Ura Festival (Bumthang) from 27 to 29 April

Nimalung Festival (Bumthang) from 21 to 23 June

Kurjey Festival (Bumthang) on 23 June

Thimphu Drupchen (Thimphu) on 18 September

Wangdi Festival (Wangdiphodrang) from 17 to 19 September

Thimphu Festival (Thimphu) from 19 to 21 September

Tamshingphala Choepa (Bumthang) from 18 to 20 September

Gangtey Festival (Gangtey) from 22 to 24 September

Tangbi Mani (Bumthang) from 23 (evening) to 25 September

Jakar (Bumthang) from 16 to 18 October

Jambay Lhakhang Drup (Bumthang) from 24 (evening) to 27 October

Paker Festival (Bumthang) from 25 to 27 October

Black-Necked Crane Festival (Gangtey) 11 November

Mongar Festival (Mongar) from 14 to 17 November

Tashigang Festival (Tashigang) from 15 to 18 November

Nalakhar Festival (Bumthang) from 23 to 25 November

Trongsa Festival (Trongsa) from 15 to 19 December

Lhuntse Festival (Lhuntse) from 15 to 18 December

Festival dates for 2019

Punakha Dromchen (Punakha) from 12 to 14 February

Punakha Tsechu (Punakha) from 15 to 17 February

Chorten Kora (Tashi Yangtse) to be confirmed

Gom Kora (Tashigang) 14 to 16 March 

Paro Festival (Paro) from 17 to 21 March

Ura Festival (Bumthang) from 16 to 20 April

Nimalung Festival (Bumthang) from 10 to 11 July

Kurjey Festival (Bumthang) on 11 July

Thimphu Drupchen (Thimphu) on 3 October

Wangdi Festival (Wangdiphodrang) from 5 to 7 October

Thimphu Festival (Thimphu) from 7 to 9 October

Tamshingphala Choepa (Bumthang) from 7 to 9 October

Gangtey Festival (Gangtey) from 10 to 13 October

Tangbi Mani (Bumthang) from 10 (evening) to 13 October

Jakar (Bumthang) from 5 to 7 November

Jambay Lhakhang Drup (Bumthang) from 13 (evening) to 16 November

Paker Festival (Bumthang) from 14 to 16 November

Black-Necked Crane Festival (Gangtey) 11 November

Mongar Festival (Mongar) from 4 to 6 December

Tashigang Festival (Tashigang) from 5 to 7 December

Nalakhar Festival (Bumthang) from 12 to 14 December

Trongsa Festival (Trongsa) from 4 to 7 January 2020

Lhuntse Festival (Lhuntse) from 4 to 7 January 2020

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