Bhutan Festival Dates 2011

Activities, Attractions

Once a year a Dzong or an important village may hold a religious festival called a Tsechu. Villagers from the nearby villagest come for several days of religious observances and socializing while contributing auspicious offerings to the monastery of the festival.

The central activity is a fixed set of religious mask dances, or Cham, held in a large courtyard. Each individual dance takes up to several hours to complete and the entire set may last 2 to 4 days. Observation of the dances directly blesses the audience and also serves to transmit principles of Tantric Buddhism to the viewers. A number of the dances can be traced directly back to Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal himself, the founder of Bhutan, and have been passed down essentially unchanged since the mid-1600s.

Prior to dawn on the final day of the tsechu a huge tapestry, or Thongdrel, is unfurled in the courtyard of the dzong for several hours. The mere sight of it is believed to bring spiritual liberation. The Thongdrel is rolled up before the rays of the morning sun can strike it.

Festival dates for 2011

  • Please note that the dates are tentative. Please consult with your tour operator for confirmation.
  • Some dates may be missing – we will update the dates as and when we get more info.
Festival Place Dates (2011)
Punakha Dromche Punakha 10 – 12 February
Punakha Tshechu Punakha 13 – 15 February
Chorten Kora Trashiyangtse 18 February – 4 March
Gomkora Trashigang 13 – 15 March
Paro Tshechu Paro 15 – 19 March
Chhukha Tshechu Chhukha 17 – 19 March
Ura Yakchoe Bumthang 14 – 17 May
Nimalung Tshechu Bumthang 8 – 10 July
Kurjey Tshechu Bumthang 10 July
Wangdue Tshechu Wangdue Phodrang 4 – 6 October
Tamshingphala Choepa Bumthang 6 – 8 October
Thimphu Drupchen Thimphu 1 – 5 October
Thimphu Tshechu Thimphu 6 – 8 October
Thangbi Mani Bumthang 10 – 12 October
Shingkhar Rabney Ura, Bumthang 1 – 5 November
Jakar Tshechu Jakar Dzong, Bumthang 3 – 6 November
Jambay Lhakhang Drup Bumthang 10 – 14 November
Prakhar Duchhoed Bumthang 11 – 13 November
Mongar Tshechu Mongar 2 – 5 December
Trashigang Tshechu Trashigang 2 – 5 December
Nalakhar Tshechu Bumthang 10 – 12 December
Trongsa Tshechu Trongsa 2 – 4 January, 2012
Lhuntse Tshechu Lhuntse 2 – 4 January, 2012
Nabji Lhakhang Drup Nabji, Trongsa 9 – 13 January, 2012
Shingkhar Metochodpa Ura, Bumthang 9 January, 2012

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