The 2020 festival dates are as follows:
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 early April, we have the Gomphu Kora festival in Trashigang in Eastern Bhutan. Likewise, there are also the Talo Festival in the beautiful village of Talo in Punakha and Gasa Festival in the remote district of Gasa. The very popular five-day Paro Tsechu beings on April 4.
2nd - 4th March Punakha Drubchen, Punakha
5th - 7th March Punakha Tsechu, Punakha
1st - 3rd April Gomphu Kora, Trashigang
1st - 3rd April Talo Tsechu, Punakha
1st - 3rd April Gasa Tsechu, Gasa
4th - 8th April Paro Tsechu, Paro
8th & 22nd April Chorten Kora, Trashiyangtse
May, June and July
In May and June, festive activities are mainly in Bumthang in central Bhutan. In May, there are two festivals taking place in Bumthang where the choice is between Domkhar Tsechu and Ura Yakchoe. In June, Bumthang also sees two more festivals - Nimalung and Kurjey Tsechu.
3rd - 5th May Domkhar Tsechu, Bumthang
4th - 8th May Ura Yakchoe, Bumthang
30th June Kurjey Tsechu, Bumthang
30th June - 1st July Nimalung Tsechu, Bumthang
September and October
As it happens every year, September begins with the popular cycling competition event, the ‘Tour of the Dragon’ in early September. Cyclists from outside and within Bhutan compete in the gruelling more than 200 km ride from Bumthang to Thimphu.
The autumn festival season kicks off with the Wangdue Tsechu, followed by the more popular Thimphu Tsechu and Gangtey 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.
In October, there are a couple of festivals in Bumthang - Tangbi Mani, followed by Jakar Tsechu later in the month. If you do not want to travel farther, you could plan to attend Chukha Tsechu, which could be a day visit from Thimphu.
5th Sept Tour of the Dragon
22nd Sept Thimphu Drubchen, Thimphu
24th - 26th Sept Wangdue Tsechu, Wangduephodrang
26th - 28th Sept Tamshing Phala Choepa, Bumthang
26th - 28th Sept Thimphu Tsechu, Thimphu
28th Sept - 1st Oct Gangtey Tsechu, Gangtey (Phobjikha)
29th Sept - 2nd Oct Tangbi Mani, Bumthang
23rd - 27th Oct Jakar Tsechu, Bumthang
24th - 26th Oct Chhukha Tsechu, Chhukha
November and December
The busy month of November begins with the one-day Black-necked Crane Festival in the beautiful valley of Phobjikha. The eastern districts of Mongar, Trashigang and Pemagatshel also host their annual festival in November, followed by the Nalakhar Tsechu in the remote Nga Lhakhang in Bumthang at the end of the month.
In December, the highlight will be the Druk Wangyal festival at Dochhu La - which is very popular with the visitors and the Bhutanese alike. Finally, the year ends with the Tsechus in the districts of Lhuentse and Trongsa.
11th Nov Black-necked Crane Festival, Phobjikha
21st - 24th Nov Mongar Tsechu, Mongar
22nd - 25th Nov Trashigang Tsechu, Trashigang
21st - 24th Nov Pemagatshel Tsechu, Pemagatshel
30th Nov Jambay Lhakhang Singye Cham, Bumthang
30th Nov - 2nd Dec Nalakhar Tsechu, Bumthang
13th Dec Druk Wangyel Tsechu, Dochhu La
10th - 13th Dec Trongsa Tsechu, Trongsa
21st - 24th Dec Lhuentse Tsechu, Lhuentse
29th - 31st Dec Nabji Lhakhang Drup, Trongsa