Since from the inception of monarchy until present, Trongsa has been a significant seat of successive monarchs of Bhutan. Trongsa forms the central hub of the kingdom and is the historical place from where attempts at unifying the country were launched. Trongsa serves the key administration sites where both the first and second king ruled the country. Today it is a customary where the kings before taking the throne has to serves as the Trongsa Penlop (governor). The 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.
Jakar in Bumthang is the central administration of both government and monastic body. The valley of Bumthang under Jakar dzong is the fascinating valley and is the heartland of the nation. It is also home to some of the oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. 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.
The annual unique Nomad Festival is one of the most interesting festival held in Bumthang, central part Bhutan for one day. This annual gathering festival celebration brings together the nomads of the northeastern and northwestern Himalayan frontiers in an unforgettable celebration of their unique cultures and traditions. Participating in this unique celebration provides you with an opportunity to witness and experience the unique traditions and way of life of different highlander communities in the country, which is mostly unexplored and tested by many visitors. Visitors will also get to experience the delicious traditional recipes whilst sitting cross-legged around a stone hearth as families from this region have exercised for ages. Moreover, one can also experience wearing the traditional highlanders dress, using the entire costume from yak hair dress, the Brokpa hat that has five long fringes falling down through the head, conical bamboo hats worn by Layaps etc.
Tangbi Mewang (fire blessing), is held in Tangbi Lhakhang in Bumthang in central Bhutan. This fire blessing festival is considered one of the popular festival by the people of Bumthang. The festival highlights many cultural and masks dances and among all the activities, the fire ritual dance is considered the main attraction of the festival. The fire ritual ceremonies is performed by the local monks in the open ground, where the monks will perform purification ceremonies and rituals while people jump over the burning flames to get themselves cleansed and purified from their sins. It is believed that if one could jump over the fire three times he or she is protected from all ill luck and misfortunes for that entire year. The festival brings unity, happiness, good harvest, and prosperity to the entire community.
The Masutake 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 Masutake 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 Masutake mushrooms of Bhutan.
The Nimalung festival is held in Nimalung Lakhang in Chumey Valley under Bumthang district was introduced by Doring Trulku and is one of the most important tshechu in Chume valley. The festival is witnessed by many people from Bumthang region and during the festival many religious mask dance and local cultural dances were performed. The main highlight of the festival is on the third and final day where an awe-inspiring Thongdrol (gigantic scroll painting) of Guru Rinpoche is unfurled for the people to receive blessing.
The Pedselling Kuchod is held at Pedselling monastery in Choekhor valley in Bumthang. The exact date of the festival is on the 20th and 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.
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.
The Tamshing Phala Choepa festival is held at Tamshing Lhakhang in Bumthang. The Tamshing monastery follows the Peling tradition established by Terton Pema Lingpa. The monastery is headed by the Venerable Lhalung Sungtrul Rinpoche who is considered to be the 11th direct reincarnation of Terton Pema Lingpa. During the special three days festival several mask dances, cultural dances were performed and many local people come to witness the festival and receive blessing.