Most visitors plan their holidays around popular festivals which take place across the country. 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 remaining festival dates for 2018 are as follows:
In December, we have the Tsechus 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.
The 2019 festival dates are as follows:
February, March and April
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 Tsechu 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 Rhododendron Festival in Thimphu followed by the Ura Yakchoe festival in the beautiful village of Ura in Bumthang.
July and August
In July, we are back to Bumthang where the choice is between Nimalung Tsechu and Krujey Tsechu. Both the festivals have become popular with visitors in recent years. In August, we have the popular Masutaki Mushroom Festivals in Genekha and Ura.
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 Tsechu and Wangdue Tsechu.
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.
November and December
There are number of Festivals taking place in November and December. The sprawling Bumthang valley comes alive with series of different festivals taking place simultaneously in November. 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 Central Asia may have arrived and you will see the birds grazing in the wide marshy valley below.
In December, the highlight will be the Druk Wangyal festival at Dochhu La - which is very popular with the visitors and the Bhutanese alike. In January, we have the Tsechus in the districts of Lhuentse and Trongsa.
In addition to the 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.