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    Festivals in Bhutan

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    Festivals in Bhutan

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    Festivals in Bhutan

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    Festivals in Bhutan

Trongsa Festival

All the festivals in Bhutan share the same theme, but each festival has its own special flavor. Different locals and venues provide a kaleidoscope of sight and sound. The Trongsa festival usually takes place in December or January, depending on the Bhutanese calendar.

This festival is less congested than the more popular ones, providing visitors with a better opportunity to experience and photograph the events on a more intimate level.

Thimphu Festival

This is another one of the great festivals of Bhutan. Like the Paro festival, its timing depends upon the Bhutanese lunar calendar, but usually occurs in September or October.

Because it is held in the populated capital of Bhutan, the Thimphu festival can be congested. This can make picture-taking challenging. One has to come early to secure a place to sit and watch the Festival.

The Thimphu festival takes place inside the capital-building courtyard. The capital building also houses the offices for the King, Ministry of Home Affairs, as well as summer residences for the monks when they move to the capital from their Punakha winter residence.

Jampa Lhakhang Drup (Festival)

Although the origin and purpose of the festival cannot be exactly determined, the Jampa Lhakhang Drup is regarded as one of the most ancient and sacred of all festivals in the region. The tradition of people from this area is to congregate in a spirit of piety and festivity on the 15th day of the ninth month of the Bhutanese calendar.

The well-known historian on Bhutan, the late Dr. Michael Aris, pointed out that this ancient festival retained some remnants of the old Agricultural New Year, which falls at the winter solstice and which has almost disappeared from this part of the country.

Paro Festival

This festival usually takes place in March or April each year, depending upon the Bhutanese lunar calendar. It is considered one of the most colorful and wonderful of Bhutan�s many festivals and is very popular with visitors.

Festival participants don ornamental dress and elaborate costumes that are worn just once a year. Other highlights of the Paro Festival include the Thongdrel on the last day.

Thongdrel is a huge religious scroll, usually with the image of Bhutanese protector deity, Guru Rimpoche, appliqu�d in bright silk. The scroll is lowered on the last day of the Festival in the early hours of the morning, and is rolled back up before direct sunlight touches it.


Punakha Tshechu (Festival)

Between 1616 AD and 1651 AD, Zhabdrung had to wage around five major against the major wars against the invading forces of Desi Tsangpa Phuntsho Namgyel and his successors. The Bhutanese militia under the able guidance of Zhabdrung himself was able to defeat the invaders. During those wars, Lam Zhabdrung also sought the support of the guardian Deities, particularly Palden Lhamo and Pal Yeshey Goenbo.

Punakha Drubchen therefore celebrates two important events:

a) Worship of the guardian deities and presentation of the deities to the public through mask dances performed by the monks. b) Enactment of ancient military scenes by Pazaps.

Totally different than other Festivals in the Kingdom, the Domchey depicts the events of the 17thn century -- specifically, how the Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel came to Bhutan from Tibet. When he came to Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel brought valuable treasure from Tibet with him.

The Tibetan Army came to Punakha Dzong to retrieve the treasure and fought a battle with the Bhutanese defenders. In this festival, four different villages participate, each representing a different army that fought in this historic battle.

Festival Dates 2019

Punakha Drubchen
Punakha Dzong, Punakha
12th - 14th Feb
Punakha Tshechu
Punakha Dzong, Punakha
15th - 17th Feb
Tharpaling Thongdrol
Tharpaling Lhakhang, Chumi, Bumthang
19th Feb
Gom Kora Lhakhang, Trashigang
14th – 16th March
Talo Tshechu
Talo Gonpa, Punakha
14th – 16th March
Gasa Tshechu
Gasa Dzong, Gasa
14th – 16th March
Zhemgang Tshechu
Zhemgang Dzong, Zhemgang
14th – 17th March
Paro Tshechu
Rinpung Dzong, Paro
17th – 21st March (Thongdral on last day)
Chhorten Kora
Chorten Kora, Trashiyangtshe
21st March & 5th April
Rhododendron Festival
Lamperi Botanical Garden, Dochula, Thimphu
19th – 21st April
Domkhar Tshechu
Domkhar, Chumni, Bumthang.
14th – 16th April
Ura Yakchoe
Ura Lhakhang, Bumthang
16th – 20th April
Nimalung Tshechu
Nimalung Dratshang, Chumni, Bumthang
10th – 11th July
Kurjey Tshechu
Kurjey Lhakhang, Choekhor, Bumthang
11th July
Haa Summer Festival
13th & 14th July
Mushroom Festival
Genekha, Thimphu.
15th & 16th Aug
Masutaki Mushroom Festival
Ura, Bumthang
23rd & 24th Aug
Tour of the Dragon (Bicycle Race)
Bumthang to Thimphu
7th Sept
Thimphu Drubchen
Tashi Chhodzong, Thimphu
3rd Oct
Wangdue Tshechu
Tencholing Army Ground, Wangduephodrang.
5th – 7th Oct
Tamshing Phala Chhoepa
Tamshing lhakhang, Bumthang
7th – 9th Oct
Thimphu Tshechu
Tashi Chhodzong, Thimphu
7th – 9th Oct
Gangtey Tshechu
Gangtey Gonpa, Phobjikha,Wangduephodrang.
10th – 13th Oct (Thongdral on last day)
Thangbi Mani
Tangbi Lhakhang, Choekor, Bumthang
10th – 13th Oct
Jhomolhari Mountain Festival
Dangochong, Thimphu
14th & 15th Oct
Chhukha Tshechu
Chhukha Dzong, Chhukha
6th – 8th Nov
Jakar Tshechu
Jakar Dzong, Choekhor, Bumthang.
5th – 9th Nov
Jambay Lhakhang Drup
Jambay Lhakhang, Choekhor, Bumthang
13th – 16th Nov
Prakhar Duchhoed
Prakar Khakhang, Chumni, Bumthang
14th – 16th Nov
Dechenphu Tshechu
Dechenphu Lhakhang, Thimphu
8th Nov
Black Necked Crane Festival
Gangtey Gonpa, Phobjikha, Wangduephodrang.
11th Nov
Mongar Tshechu
Mongar Dzong, Mongar
4th – 6th Dec
Trashigang Tshechu
Trashigang Dzong, Trashigang.
5th – 7th Dec
Jambay Lhakhang Singye Cham
Jambay Lhakhang, Choekhor, Bumthang
12th Dec
Pemagatshel Tshechu
Pemagatshel Dzong, Pemagatshel.
11th – 13 Nov (Thongdral on last day)
Nalakhar Tshechu
Ngaa Lhakhang, Choekhor, Bumthang
12th – 14th Dec
Druk Wangyel Tshechu
Douchula , Thimphu
13th Dec
Trongsa Tshechu
Trongsa Dzong, Trongsa
4th – 7th Jan, 2020 (Thongdral on last day)
Lhuentse Tshechu
Lhuentse Dzong, Lhuentse
4th – 7th Jan, 2020 (Thongdral on last day)
Nabji Lhakhang Drup
Nabji Lhakhang, Nabji, Trongsa
10th – 12th Jan, 2020