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BHUTAN Festivals

BHUTAN FESTIVALS SCHEDULE 2020

Tshechu is a religious festival that begins on the 10th day of Bhutanese calendar. During the festival, monks and laymen perform mask dances over a stretch of three to five days in a temple or monastery. In addition, mask dances are performed to commemorate the life of Guru Padmasambhava and other great Buddhist masters. For that reason, kindly checkout the Bhutan festivals schedule 2020 to plan the best festival tour to Bhutan.

Punakha Festival

Punakha Festival

5-7 March 2020

The Punakha Festival is one of the most popular festival in the country. It is held right after the popular Punakha  Drubchen . The unfurling of the thongdrol (a large tapestry) of Guru Rimpoche on the last day is the main attraction of the festival. It is believed that a mere sight of the thongdrol liberates an onlooker and cleanses him of his sins.

 


Paro Festival

Paro Festival

4-8 April 2020

Paro Festival is the biggest festival in the country and is held over five days. On the first day, all mask dances are held inside the courtyard of the dzong. On the subsequent  days, the festival will then be held at the courtyard outside the dzong. A thongdrol (large tapestry)will be unfurled on the last day of the festival.

 


Ura Yakchoe

Ura Yakchoe

4-8 May 2020

Ura Lhakhang  is situated in the middle of Ura village in Bumthang , and the temple is about the size of the National Library at Kawajangsa, Thimphu. It was built in the 1980s. Inside the temple is a huge statue of Guru Rinpoche and beautiful paintings. The main statue in the temple is that of Guru Nangsay Zilnoen.Highlight of the event is invoking and escorting of the deity Yidam Chhana Dorjee from Gaythen of Ura.

 


Domkhar Festival

Domkhar Festival

3-5 May 2020

Domkhar Lhakhang was built by Serkhong  Truelku  during  the 18th century and it is said that the lhakhang is the residence for the Trulku. Domkhar festival is a three-day festival, which includes chams and dances that are performed by the local people of Domkhar village. The chams include mainly the Peling chams (Composition of Terton Pema Lingpa). On the last day of the festival, the lhakhang displays large Thongdrels (large tapestries) to bless the people of Domkhar village.

 


Kurjey Festival

Kurjey Festival

30 June 2020

Kurjey festival is celebrated in the popular Kurjey Lhakhang in Bumthang .People of Jakar and Kurjey villages attend the festival to pay obeisance of Guru Rinpoche who brought Buddhism to Bhutan.it is a one-day festival and the chams/dances include the Guru Tshengye and Shingjay cham performed by the monks of Kurjey Lhakhang.The festival closes with the unfurling of a giant Buddha/Guru thangka painting known as thongdrol. The festival is fully supported and  funded by the government of Bhutan.

 


Tour of The Dragon

Tour of The Dragon

7 Sep 2020

Tour of the Dragon is not a road bike race or a classic mountain bike race, nor is it a gravel grinder, because it doesn’t fit into any of the categories defined by the UCI. Since the distance of the race is 200+ km, we would categories it as an ultra-marathon mountain bike race  on roads that happen to be extremely challenging . Tour of the Dragon starts in Bumthang and travels 268km over four mountain passes before finishing in Thimphu. It’s one of the toughest one-day mountain bike races in the world.

 


Thimphu Festival

Thimphu Festival

26 -28 Sep 2020

One of the biggest festivals in the country is the Thimphu Festival. This festival is held in the capital city for three days. The festival is witnessed by thousands of people, both local and tourists. The actual festival is preceded by days and nights of prayer and rituals to invoke the gods. Mask dances like Guru Tshengye (Eight manifestation of Guru Rinpoche), Shaw Shachi(Dance of the Stags) and many more are performed.

 


Gangtey Festival

Gangtey Festival

28 sep – 1 Oct 2020

The festival is held at Gangtey Goenpa in Phobjikha valley – the winter roosting ground of the migratory and rare blacknecked cranes. Different kinds of mask dances are performed during the festival.

The festival concludes with the Nguedup Langwa (receiving of spiritual wisdom/power) which is a special blessing ritual for the people.


Jomolhari Mountain Festival

Jomolhari Mountain Festival

14-15 Oct 2020

Jomolhari Mountain Festival is an exquisitely themed two-day event celeberated at the base of Mt.Jomolhari by communities located along one of the most scenic trekking routs in Bhutan. The festival celebrates the culture of the communities living together with the natural wonders that surround them: one in particular is the elusive , yet elegant, snow leopard! This endangered cat thrives in the region; several camera trap ptotos and definite sighs have established the region as one of the best snow leopard habits in Bhutan.


Royal Highlander Festival

Royal Highlander Festival

23-24 Oct 2020

The Royal Highlander Festival will be organized in Laya this October . Driven by the underlying goal of making the highlands a vibrant and thriving economy, the festival aims to promote the sustainable livelihood of highlanders,showcase highlander’s innovation,  and exhibit the highlands as a pride of Bhutan. The festival brings together highlanders from other parts of Bhutanto exchange values,knowledge,skills,and best practices related to highlands and yaks farming .The festival is a landmark activity of Gasa dzongkhag ‘s” Good to Great Gasa”, a vision inspired by His Majesty’s passion to make our country great.


Jakar Festival

Jakar Festival

23-27 Oct 2020

The Jakar Dzong or the Dzong of the “White Bird” is perched on the hillock overlooking Chamkhar town and places surrounding it.The interesting thing about the Dzong is that there is a water tower four stairs down behind the Dzong , leading to a water reservoir used for drawing water during battle times in olden days. The three-day festival displays several sacred mask dances.The festival also host different types of folk songs and dances.People visit the festival dressed in their finest clothes and the festival is also popular among tourist.


Jambay Lhakang Drup

Jambay Lhakang Drup

31st Oct – 3rd Nov 2020

The 7th Century Tibetan King Songsten Gempo is said to have built 108 temples in one day and jambay lhakhang in Bumthang is believed to be one of them. The Jambay Lhakhang Drup is one of the most interesting events held there. During this festival , the chams(dances)include Terchham (Naked Dance), which was formerly initiated by Terton Dorje Lingpa, Mewing ,Macham, Ging Tsholing, Dramtse Ngacham, Zhana Cham etc,. The dance are performed by the local villagers of Norgang Changwa and Nangsiphel. The festival is a five-day programme.


Black Necked Crane Festival

Black Necked Crane Festival

11 Nov 2020

The annual Black-Necked Crane festival is celebrated at the countryard  of Gangtey Goenpa in Phobjikha valley.The festival is an occasion for the locals to rejoice and celebrate the arrival of this vulnerable and majestic bird that has become an inseparable part in their daily lives during the winter months. The annual black-necked crane festival is organised to generate awareness and understanding on the importance of conserving the birds. The festival includes cultural programmes, such as folk songs and dances(some with black-necked crane themes),mask dance performed by the local people,  crane dance and environmental conservation-themed dramas and songs by school children.


Trashigang Festival

Trashigang Festival

22 – 25 Nov 2020

The annual Trashigang Festival is one of the biggest festivals in the eastern Bhutan. People from all over eastern Bhutan come to the festival. The nomadic community of Merak and Sekteng called the Brokpas , stand out from the crowed with their unique dress and appearance. Different scared mask dances are performed during the festival, as well as other traditional folk songs and dances.The highlight of the festival  is the unfurling of the thongdrel(large tapestry) of Guru Tshengyed (eight manifestation of Guru Rinpoche). Another thongdrol of Neten Chudrung(sixteen Arhats) is also unfurled for the public.


Druk Wangyel Festival

Druk Wangyel Festival

13 Dec 2020

The Druk Wangyel Festival is a unique festival performed  by the Royal Bhutan Army rather than monks or lay people. Is is a tribute to the wise leadership of Hia Majestry Jigme Singye Wangchuck , the Fourth King of Bhutan.It also celebrates the continuous efforts of the Royal Bhutan Army in protecting the sovereignty and stability of the country. This one –of-a kind festival is performed at the festival round near Dochula Pass, against the backdrop of the magnificent Jigme Singye Wangchuk mountain range.


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