Festivals in Bhutan

Thimphu Tsechu
Black-Necked Cranes, Phobjikha Valley
Bumthang Tsechu
Thimphu Tsechu

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 2017
Punakha Dromchen (Punakha) from 4 to 6 March
Punakha Tsechu (Punakha) from 7 to 9 March
Chorten Kora (Tashi Yangtse) 12 and 28 March
Gom Kora (Tashigang) from 4 to 6 April
Paro Festival (Paro) from 7 to 11 April
Ura Festival (Bumthang) from 7 to 10 May
Nimalung Festival (Bumthang) from 1 to 3 July
Kurjey Festival (Bumthang) on 3 July
Wangdi Festival (Wangdiphodrang) from 28 to 30 September
Thimphu Drupchen (Thimphu) on 29 September
Tamshingphala Choepa (Bumthang) from 29 September to 1 October
Thimphu Festival (Thimphu) from 30 September to 2 October
Gangtey Festival (Gangtey) from 3 to 5 October
Tangbi Mani (Bumthang) from 4 to 6 October
Jakar (Bumthang) from 29 to 31 October
Jambay Lhakhang Drup (Bumthang) from 3 to 6 November
Paker Festival (Bumthang) from 5 to 6 November
Mongar Festival (Mongar) from 26 to 28 November
Tashigang Festival (Tashigang) from 27 to 29 November
Nalakhar Festival (Bumthang) from 3 to 5 December
Trongsa Festival (Trongsa) from 26 to 28 December
Lhuntse Festival (Lhuntse) from 26 to 28 December

Festival dates for 2018
Punakha Dromchen (Punakha) from 22 to 24 February
Punakha Tsechu (Punakha) from 25 to 27 February
Chorten Kora (Tashi Yangtse) 2 and 17 March
Gom Kora (Tashigang) from 25 to 26 March
Paro Festival (Paro) from 27 to 31 March
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 to be confirmed
Tangbi Mani (Bumthang) from 23 to 25 September
Jakar (Bumthang) from 19 October
Jambay Lhakhang Drup (Bumthang) from 24 to 27 October
Paker Festival (Bumthang) from 25 to 27 October
Mongar Festival (Mongar) from 16 to 18 November
Tashigang Festival (Tashigang) from 17 to 19 November
Nalakhar Festival (Bumthang) from 23 to 25 November
Trongsa Festival (Trongsa) from 15 to 17 December
Lhuntse Festival (Lhuntse) from 15 to 17 December

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