A land of prosperity and happiness, Bhutan is a country of pristine beauty and captivating heritage. From famous tourist destinations to popular fairs and festivals in Bhutan, each aspect of the country is equally enthralling. Cultural tourism in Bhutan is a major contributor to the travel sector in Bhutan. Although the natural beauty is what attracts tourists to Bhutan, we suggest you explore the culture and heritage here with these festivals and fairs. Since you might be wondering how to find out about these festivals and fairs, we have curated a list of top 10 festivals in Bhutan you must see for an amazing stay in the land of happiness.
Thimphu Tshechu Festival
The Thimphu Tshechu Festival, also called the National Festival of Bhutan, is the largest and most popular celebration in the country. The actual Tshechu is preceded by days and nights of prayers to invoke the divine gods. The festival is held at Tendrel Thang (a festival ground) and the mask dances (cham or folk dances) are performed to bless onlookers and teach them the Buddhist dharma. It is believed that one can attain good fortune by attending these festivals.
A 3-day cultural extravaganza exhibiting the vibrant culture and proud heritage of Bhutan, Thimphu Tshechu is a festival celebrated to commemorate the birth of Guru Rinpoche. The festival is celebrated in the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu on the 10th day of 8th month of Lunar Calendar. One of the most popular festivals of Bhutan, it is attended by locals from neighbouring districts. A religious festival, Thimphu Tshechu is marked by days and nights of prayers to invoke God. It is believed that by attending this festival, one gains merit points. Thimphu Tshechu festival celebrates the prosperity of the country and its citizens, and the rituals of the festivals aim to seek blessings of deities.
Lễ hội Paro Tshechu
One of the most popular cultural events in Bhutan, Paro Tshechu is a big cultural celebrations during spring time. Celebrated in the city of Paro, the festival witnesses thousands of locals and tourists gathering around the courtyard of the Dzong to celebrate the deeds of Guru Rinpoche. Marked by the masked dance performed by lamas and laymen, the festival is meant to thank deities for their blessings.
A must-see during every Bhutan tour, Paro Tshechu allows tourists to have an insight into the vibrant culture of Bhutan. At the end of the festival a four-storey high Buddhist religious scroll(thangkha) is unrolled. The scroll is said to be more than 350 years old.
Lễ hội mùa hè Haa
If you are planning a visit during your Bhutan festival tour, then Haa Summer Festival in Haa Valley is a must-see. Demonstrating a blend of cultural extravaganza and tranquility of nature, the festival is a celebration of the nomadic and traditional lifestyles of the people of Bhutan. A perfect destination for those who wish to experience the traditional Bhutanese culture.
The festival exhibits the vibrant local culture, complemented with the local cuisine, sports, drinks, religious performances, dance and songs. With the picture-perfect Haa’ scenic landscape in the background, the festival is the ideal chance to capture the true essence of Bhutan and its scenic beauty. A treat for photographers, there is also a photography contest at the festival.