What can you expect at a festival?
The festivals' dances often depict the life of Guru Padmasambhava, the Indian saint who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in the seventh century.
Dress the part
The lunar calendar decides festival dates
Bhutan's best festivals ...
1. Thimphu Tshechu
Where: Tashichho Dzong, city of Thimphu Duration: 3 days 2023 date: 24-26 September 2024 date: 15-17 September
This festival is great for those wanting to experience and enjoy the Buddhist culture of Bhutan.
Dance of the Lords of Cremation Grounds’ Dance of the Terrifying Deities Dance of the Noblemen and the Ladies
2. Jambay Lhakhang Drup
Where: Jambay Lhakhang Monastery, Bumthang District 2023 date: 28-31 October 2024 date: 28-31 October
This festival is great for those who are up for a bit of fire and nakedness!
3. Wangdue Phodrang Tshechu
Where: Tencholing Army Ground, Wangdue Phodrang Distric 2023 date: 22-24 September
This festival is great for anyone wishing to receive a Buddhist blessing.
4. Punakha Drubchen
Where: Punakha Dzong Duration: 3 days 2023 date: 24-28 February
This festival is ideal for history buffs.
5. Paro Tshechu
Where: Ringpung Dzong, Paro District 2023 date: 17-21 March 2024 date: 2-6 April
This festival is great for those who would love the chance to bump into royalty.
6. Haa Summer Festival
Where: Haa Valley, Haa District 2023 date: 8-9 July 2024 date: 13-14 July
This festival is great for those who like to participate in things instead of just observing.
7. Matsutake Mushroom Festival
Where: Genekha in Thimphu and Ura valley in Bumthang Thimphu 2023 date: 20-21 August Bumthang 2023 date: 15-17 August
This festival is great for anyone who enjoys nature – and mushrooms! 🍄
The village of Genekha in Thimphu District – lasts two days Ura valley in Bumthang District (the 'Switzerland of the East') – lasts three days
8. Jomolhari Mountain Festival
Where: Base of Jomolhari Mountain Duration: 2 days 2023 date: 14-15 October 2024 date: 14-15 October
This is the festival for you if you also want to go trekking in the Himalayas!
9. The Black-necked Crane Festival
Where: Gangtey Goemba, Phobjikha Valley Duration: 1 day 2023 date: 11 November 2024 date: 11 November
This festival is perfect for conservationists and the eco-minded traveller.