Nimalung Tshechu

Nimalung Dratshang, Chumey Bumthang, Bhutan

The Nimalung Festival is conducted at Nimalung Lhakhang, situated in Chumey within the Bumthang region. This Tshechu is an annual event, taking place in the 5th month of the Bhutanese calendar. A remarkable highlight is the display of a colossal 9-meter-wide Thongdrol of Guru Rimpoche, which not only evokes awe but is also believed to purify the sins of all who gaze upon it. Throughout the Tshechu, a series of vibrant and mesmerizing mask dances are performed.

Kurjey Tshechu

Kurje Lhakhang Bumthang, Bhutan

Kurjey Tshechu, also known as the Kurjey Festival, is celebrated in Bumthang at Kurjey Lhakhang, which consists of three temples located in Chokhor Valley. This annual festival occurs in July. The oldest temple, established by Lama Minjur Tempa, dates back to 1652, while the second temple was constructed by Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuk in 1900. The third temple, built by Queen Mother Ashi Kezang Choden Wangchuk, was completed in 1990.

Haa Summer Festival

Dzongkhag Archery Ground or Gongzim Ugyen Dorji Central School ground Haa, Bhutan

The Haa Summer Festival features the Annual Alpine Festival, a vibrant celebration of Yak herders and their nomadic way of life. Visitors have the opportunity to learn and observe Yak shearing and wool making, as well as witness local craftsmen demonstrate the art of weaving Yak hair into traditional tents. This tourism festival provides unparalleled insight into the customs and traditions of the Bhutanese people. The Haa Summer Festival exudes a sense of contentment, allowing tourists to partake in the joyous celebration of traditional culture, engage in traditional sports, savor unique Bhutanese cuisine, and enjoy lively folk songs and religious mask dances performed by the people of Haa Valley.

Azhey Lhamo

Ura / Shingkhar Bumthang, Bhutan

In the heart of Bhutan's Bumthang District, a remarkable tradition unfolds exclusively among the women of Ura village. Embarking on a three-day spiritual journey, these women ascend the mountain overlooking Ura, their dance steps echoing through the dawn. Their purpose: to invite the local deities to a grand celebration, seeking blessings for bountiful harvests and favorable weather. This unique ritual, deeply rooted in Ura's cultural tapestry, stands as a testament to the enduring power of female empowerment and spiritual devotion.

Mushroom festival

Genekha Thimphu, Bhutan

Genekha, a secluded village in Thimphu hosts an annual two day mushroom festival in August. During the festival the villagers promote the popular Tricholoma Matsutake. This coveted mushroom is known for its aromatic and succulent flavor. Locally known as “Sangay Shamu”, the wild produce can only be harvested seasonally from the forest and cannot be cultivated thus making it a prized produce. For the community members, harvesting the wild mushroom is a major source of their income. Over the years, these mushrooms have been imported to Japan and other countries increasing the demand for the wild fungus. The festival includes cultural performances to entertain the visitors while other stalls promote sustainable agriculture and ecotourism. Info graphic on different types of mushrooms can also be found to educate the visitors. The highlight of the festival includes engaging in mushroom picking activity and trying out the matsutake mushroom soup. (Photo by Ella…

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Thimphu Drubchen

Trashichhoedzong Thimphu, Bhutan

In the vibrant capital of Bhutan, Thimphu, a unique religious festival known as Thimphu Drubchen takes center stage, preceding the grand spectacle of Thimphu Tshechu. This is held over three days before Tshechu and is a deeply rooted tradition that has captivated both locals and visitors for centuries. However, the 2nd day is considered the most important. The origins of Thimphu Drubchen can be traced back to the early 18th century, when Kuenga Gyeltshen, the first reincarnation of Jampel Dorji and son of Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel, introduced it. According to legend, Kuenga Gyeltshen witnessed the deity Palden Lhamo performing sacred dances while he was in meditation. Inspired by this divine vision, he initiated the Drubchen ceremony. The heart of Thimphu Drubchen lies in its mesmerizing mask dances, performed by monks and dedicated to Palden Lhamo, the protector deity of Bhutan. These dances, believed to possess the power to ward off…

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Haa Tshechu

Lhakhang Karpo Haa, Bhutan

Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of western Bhutan lies the quaint town of Haa, home to the vibrant annual Haa Tshechu festival. This three-day extravaganza, introduced in 1990, pays homage to the revered Guru Padmasambhava, a pivotal figure in Bhutan's Buddhist history. The heart of the Haa Tshechu unfolds within the sacred courtyard of Lhakhang Karpo, a temple that stands as a beacon of faith for the local community. Over the course of three days, the courtyard transforms into a mesmerizing stage for a series of captivating mask dances. Among the most captivating performances is the Shazam mask dance, a symbolic representation of eight dakinis, female guardian deities. These powerful beings, depicted by male dancers adorned in elaborate masks and costumes, embody the wrathful aspect of compassion, protecting the faithful from evil spirits and bestowing blessings. The culmination of the Haa Tshechu is the unfurling of the Guru Nangsi Zilon…

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