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Colourful Festivals In Bhutan

The religious festival, which means “tenth day” held annually in various temples, monasteries and dzongs throughout the country. This colorful religious event celebrated on the tenth day of a month of the lunar calendar corresponding to the birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche and other permanent religious leader. The festivals in the Land of the Thunder Dragon are rich and happy expressions of its ancient Buddhist culture. Festival are grand events where entire communities come together to witness religious mask dances, receive blessings and socialize. It is believed that every Bhutanese people must attend a festival and witness the mask dances at least once to in order to receive blessings and wash away their sins. Every mask dance performed during the Tshechu has a special meaning and story behind it and many are based on stories and incidents as long as the eight century. The local Bhutanese people come to witness the religious festival, dress in their finest cloths and most resplendent jewelry of coral and turquoise. They pack picnic lunches in their traditional bamboo baskets and stay all day at the festival, which are usually held in the dzong and monasteries.


Festival Date : 2017-10-29 to 2017-10-31

Venue : Jakar Dzong, Chhokhor, Bumthang

Jakar means white bird, this giant fortress built in the heart of Chankhar is initially built as a monastery and was later converted into a dzong and was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1646. It is scenically located on the crest of a hill spur overlooking the Chhokhor valley. The dzong was so named as Jakar because the great grandfather of Zhabdrung, Lama Ngagay Wangchuk while building the monastery it was said that a white bird flew on to the site and landed on the spur, taking as a good omen it was named Jakar. The annual festival of Jakar is one among the grandest festival in Bumthang that last for three days and this three days festival is witnessed and crowded by people from all over Bumthang region and from the neighboring districts of Trongsa. The festival highlights the mask dance and other religious cultural dances and song.


Festival Date : 2017-11-04 to 2017-11-06

Venue : Jambay Lhakhang, Chokhor, Bumthang

The Jambay Lhakhang Drub held in 7th century old temple of Jambay Lhakhang is one of the spectacular festival in the country. The festival last for 5 days and the mask dances and the bonfires commemorates the establishment of this 7th century Lhakhang.  The highlights of the festival is the fire ritual that is held by midnight where crowed gather to witness the ritual. During the festival time a naked dance is also performed where the dancers only have their mask on. 


Festival Date : 2018-04-26 to 2018-04-29

Venue : Ura Lhakhang, Ura, Bumthang


Festival Date : 2018-06-02 to 2018-06-04

Venue : Pedseling Monastery, Choekhor, Bumthang

The Pedseling Kuchoed is held at Pedseling monastery in Choekhor valley in Bumthang. The exact date of the festival is on the 20thand 21st day of the fourth months of the Bhutanese calendar. During the festival several sacred religious mask dances were performed including the sacred Drametse Nga Chham, Zhing Chham, Pa Chham, and Zha Chham. In additional to the mask dances there are cultural religious dances were also performed by the community dancers. The festival opens with the unfurling tapestry of Buddha Shakyamuni, Avalokiteshvara, and Guru Padmasambhava. On the final day the tshechu ends with the special blessing of the Phurba (spiritual dagger) which is preserved inside the box. 


Festival Date : 2018-06-23 to 2018-06-23

Venue : Kurjey Lhakhang, Choekhor, Bumthang


Festival Date : 2018-08-23 to 2018-08-24

Venue : Ura Valley, Bumthang

The Masutaki Mushroom Festival is one of the unique festivals held in Ura Valley in central Bhutan. It is a celebration of the start of another mushroom season. The festival is uniquely scheduled during the last week of August. Visitors participating during this festival will learn to identify these fabled mushrooms as they embark on mushroom picking excursions around the pristine alpine forest of Ura Valley. Visitors will also be able to sample delicious Masutaki recipes, engage in songs and dances together with the local community. The valley also provides immense opportunity for adventure enthusiast to hike and walk through some of the most memorable landscape and enchanting valley. Welcome to participate in this unique festival and learn to identify and harvest the fabled wild Masutaki mushrooms of Bhutan.  


Festival Date : 2018-12-15 to 2018-12-18

Venue : Trongsa Dzong, Trongsa

he annual three days festival of Trongsa is one among the most important and grandest festival held in Trongsa. People from all over Trongsa comes together to witness this grand festival and witness the ancient historical religious mask dance and other cultural religious dance performed by the local nonprofessional. The festival usually takes place during the winter season between the months of December or January. In additional to the mask dances the unfurling giant sacred scroll hanged on the temple wall is the main attempt for the local people in order to receive blessing and earn their merit. During the last day people also get to receive blessing from the sacred relics (Nangten) that is open at the end of the religious ceremony.

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