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Events and festivals in 2017

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 2017 festival dates are as follows:

March, April and May

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 April, 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 April 7. Another choice is to drive to remote Gasa in the north to attend the five-day Gasa Tshechu. Another popular festival is the Rhododendron Festival in Thimphu followed by the Ura Yakchoe festival in the beautiful village of Ura in Bumthang.

04th Mar – 06thMar                   Punakha Drubchhen

07th Mar – 09th Mar                  Punakha Tshechu

03rd Apr - 06th Apr                    Gasa Tshechu

04th Apr – 06th Apr                   Gomphu Kora Festival in Trashigang

07th Apr – 11th Apr                    Paro Tshechu

14th Apr – 16rd Apr                   Rhododendron Festival, Lamperi

07th May – 10th May                 Ura Yakchoe in Ura, Bumthang

June, July and August

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

01st Jul – 03rd Jul                    Nimalung Tshechu

03rd Jul                                   Kurjey Tshechu

23rd Aug – 24th Aug                 Masutaki Mushroom Festival in 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.

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.

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

02nd Sep                                 Tour of the Dragon Cycling Event

26th Sep – 29th Sep                 Thimphu Drubchhen

29th Sep – 02nd Oct                 Wangdi Phodrang Tshechu

30th Sep – 02nd Oct                 Thimphu Tshechu

03rd Oct – 05th Oct                  Gangtey Tshechu in Phobjikha

04th Oct – 06th Oct                  Thangbi Mani in Bumthang

16th Oct – 18th Oct                  Royal Highlander Festival in Laya

29th Oct – 30th Oct                  Jakar Tshechu in Bumthang

November

The sprawling Bumthang valley comes alive with series of different festivals taking place simultaneously in November. And if you are not 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.

03rd Nov – 07th Nov                 Jambay Lakhang Drub in Bumthang

04th Nov – 06th Nov                 Prakhar Duchhoed in Bumthang

11th Nov                                  Black Necked Crane Festival in Phobjikha

26th Nov – 28th Nov                 Mongar Tshechu

27th Nov – 29th Nov                 Trashigang Tshechu

December and January 2018

There are a number of festivals taking place in December this year. We also 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.

03rd Dec – 05th Dec                 Nalakhar Tshechu in Nga Lhakhang in Choekhor, Bumthang

13th Dec                                  Druk Wangdyel Tshechu in Dochula, Thimphu

26th Dec - 29th Dec                  Trongsa Tshechu

26th Dec – 29th Dec                 Lhuentse Tshechu

25th Jan – 27nd Jan                 Ngatshang Tshechu in Mongar

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.

 


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