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Events and festivals in 2018

Spring and Autumn are popular seasons to travel to Bhutan. The weather during these seasons are perfect with warm days and clear nights. In the months of February, March, April and May, the countryside springs to life with lush green vegetation and colourful blossoms. The Autumn months from mid-August to early December is truly the season of ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’ with plenty to offer. It is the peak trekking season as well with those seeking adventure taking full advantage of the warm, sunny days and crisp, clear night skies.

Most visitors choose to plan their holidays around the popular festivals which take place across the country at different times of the year. These festivals add colour and bring excitement to the Bhutanese, and are wonderful times during which you can see a whole community come to life.

The 2018 festival dates are as follows:

February and March

The year begins with a number of interesting festivals taking place across the country. It starts off with the Punakha Drubchhen followed by the popular three-day Punakha Tshechu where you can see the Pazaps (traditional soldiers) commemorate Bhutan’s victory over the Tibetans in 1639 AD battle. Both the festivals take place in the historic Punakha Dzong where many events of national importance have transpired - most recently the Royal Wedding in 2011.

In March, we have the popular Chorten Kora festival in Trashiyangtse in Eastern Bhutan. Likewise, there is also the Gomphu Kora Festival and the Talo Festival in the beautiful village of Talo in Punakha.The very popular five-day Paro Tshechu beings on March 27. Another choice is to drive to remote Gasa in the north to attend the five-day Gasa Tshechu.
In April, we have the popular Rhododdendron Festival in Thimphu followed by the Ura Yakchoe festival in the beautiful village of Ura in Bumthang.

21st Feb – 24th Feb                 Punakha Drubchen, Punakha

25th Feb – 27th Feb                 Punakha Tshechu, Punakha

24th Mar – 26th Mar                 Gomphukora, Trashigang and Gasa Tshechu in Gasa

27th Mar – 31st Mar                 Paro Tshechu, Paro

31st Mar & 16th April               Chhorten Kora, Trashiyangtse

20th April - 22nd April               Rhododendron Festival in Dochula, Thimphu

26th April - 29nd April               Ura Yakchoe, Bumthang

June, July and August

In June, we are back to Bumthang where the choice is between Nimalung Tshechu and Krujey Tshechu. Both the festivals have become popular with visitors in recent years.
In August, we have the popular Masutaki Mushroom Festival.

21st June - 23nd June              Nimaling Tshechu, Bumthang

23rd June                                 Kurjey Tshechu, Bumthang

14th July - 15th July                 Haa Summer Festival, Haa

15thAug - 16thAug                   Mushroom Festival, Genekha Thimphu

23rdAug - 24thAug                   Masutaki Mushroom Festival, Ura Bumthang

September and October

The autumn festival season kicks off with the popular cycling competition event, the ‘Tour of the Dragon’ where enthusiastic cyclists from outside and within Bhutan compete in the gruelling more than 200km ride from Bumthang to Thimphu.

September and October is a busy month with a host of festivals taking place simultaneously throughout the country. The series kicks off with the Thimphu Drubchen, followed by Thimphu Tshechu and Wangdue Tshechu. The sprawling Bumthang valley comes alive with series of different festivals taking place simultaneously in October.

With proper planning, you can almost see all of these in a single trip and experience the differences in scale and colours of these festivals.

1stSept                                    Tour of the Dragon, Bumthang to Thimphu

15thSept                                  Thimphu Drubchen, Thimphu

17thSept - 19thSept                 Wangdue Tshechu, Wangduephodrang

19thSept - 21stSept                 Tamshing Phala Chhoepa, Bumthang

19thSept - 21stSept                 Thimphu Tshechu, Thimphu

23rdSept - 24thSept                 Gangtey Tshechu, Phobjikha, Wangduephodrang

23rdSept - 25thSept                 Thangbi Mani, Choekor, Bumthang

04th Oct - 05th Oct                  Jhomolhari Mountain Festival, Thimphu

17th Oct - 20th Oct                  Jakar Tshechu, Bumthang

24thOct - 27thOct                    Jambay Lhakhang Drup, Bumthang

25thOct - 27thOct                    Prakhar Duchhoed, Bumthang

November and December

There are number of Festivals taking place in November and December. If you are travelling to central Bhutan, you can visit the Phobjikha valley and attend the Black-Necked Crane Festival on November 11. By this time, some of the cranes from Tibet may have arrived and you will see the birds grazing in the wide marshy valley below.
In December, we have the Tshechus in Lhuentse and Trongsa in eastern Bhutan. The highlight will be the Druk Wangyal festival at Dochhu La - which is very popular with the visitors and the Bhutanese alike.

11thNov                                  Black Necked Crane Festival, Phojikha, Wangduephodrang

15thNov - 18thNov                 Mongar Tshechu, Mongar

23rdNov - 25thNov                 Nalakhar Tshechu, Bumthang

13thDec                                 Druk Wangyel Tshechu, Dochula, Thimphu

15rdDec - 17thDec                 Trongsa Tshechu, Trongsa

15rdDec - 17thDec                 Lhuentse Tshechu, Lhuentse

22ndDec - 24thDec                Nabji Lhakhang Drup, Nabji, Trongsa

In addition to all these festivals, other key events like the birthday celebrations of our Kings, the National Day and Losar, the Bhutanese New Year, are celebrated throughout the country.

Tentatives festivals dates for 2019.

 


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