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10 Fairs and Festivals You Must See in Bhutan to Imbibe the Happiness of the Country

10 Fairs and Festivals You Must See in Bhutan

Fairs and Festivals You Must See in Bhutan

Punakha Drubchen, Punakha, Bhutan

Fairs and Festivals You Must See in Bhutan

Narrating the tales of the history of Bhutan, the fantastic cultural festival of Punakha Drubchen may be a celebration of the country’s victory over the invading neighbouring forces of Tibet. Celebrating the unification of Bhutan as a nation, the festive events reenact the scenes from the fights of Bhutan and Tibet. With no formal Bhutan army, locals came forward to keep off the attacks from Tibet. The locals militias now dress up because the soldiers of that point and enact the battle scenes. Starting as a celebration of Bhutan’s victory, today this festival is an annual event, celebrated with great pride and joy. Also, the winter home of Chief Abbott Je Khenpo of Bhutan, Punakha is one among the must-visit places to go to in Bhutan.

Attraction of the festival:

Reenactment of the battle between Bhutan and Tibet is that the biggest attraction of this famous festival in Bhutan. With locals militia dressing up as Bhutanese warriors from the battle between Bhutan and Tibet, the event is a superb choice to witness the fantastic history of the country.

Location: Punakha

Gomphu Kora Festival, Trashigang

Fairs and Festivals You Must See in Bhutan

A festival like none other in Bhutan, Gomphu Kora Festival is of prime importance to the locals of Trashigang. to know the importance of the festival, we’d like to know the legend behind the festival. the story of the Ghompha goes back to 8th century when Guru Padmasambhava meditated within the cave for 3 days to vanquish the evil that was hiding within the cave. The word Ghompha means meditation cave and Kora means circumambulation. The name refers to the cave formed of a rock-face, which is next to a temple built as a tribute. During the festival, the devotees take a visit round the cave and therefore the festival marks the victory of excellent over evil.

Attraction of the festival:

The trip round the cave is that the major attraction on the festival. During the festival, the whole area gets lively and other people flock to the location within the traditional finery to supply prayers to Guru Padmasambhava and seek his blessings.

Location: Trashigang


Paro Tshechu, Paro

Fairs and Festivals You Must See in Bhutan

One of the foremost popular cultural events in Bhutan, Paro Tshechu may be a big cultural celebrations during spring time. Celebrated within the city of Paro, the festival witnesses thousands of locals and tourists gathering round 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 supposed to thank deities for his or her blessings. A must-see during every Bhutan tour, Paro Tshechu allows tourists to possess an insight into the colourful culture of Bhutan. At the top of the festival a four-storey high Buddhist religious scroll(thangkha) is unrolled. The scroll is claimed to be quite 350 years old.

Attraction of the festival: Dance forms like:

Shingje Yabyum – the dance of the lord of death, Durdag.
The dance of the lords of the cremation grounds.
The dance of the drums from Drametse.
The dance of the black hats are a part of Paro Tshechu traditions.

Location: Paro

Sakteng Festival, Sakteng

Fairs and Festivals You Must See in Bhutan

Nestled at 3000m above water level , the mesmerising Sakteng Valley is home to at least one of the foremost exciting festivals of Bhutan. Celebrated by the locals called Brokpas, a semi-nomadic settlement, the festival is that the celebration of the local deities for his or her blessings. an event of revelry and merrymaking, the alluring festival is an insight into the local culture. Living on the brink of the character within the pristine valley, Brokpas have remained untouched and that they have managed to preserve their centuries-old traditions and practices. During the festival, the whole community close to supply prayers and thank deities for the prosperity.

Attraction of the festival:

Like all the Tshechu in Bhutan, the festival is marked by dance and native ethnic music .
People dress up within the traditional finery and ara(local wine) is an integral a part of the celebration.
Rare Yak dance and therefore the Ache Lhamo dance are two of the foremost popular dance forms performed within the festival.

Location: Sakteng

Haa Summer Festival, Haa

Fairs and Festivals You Must See in Bhutan

If you’re planning a visit during your Bhutan festival tour, then Haa Summer Festival in Haa Valley may be a must-see. Demonstrating a mix of cultural extravaganza and tranquility of nature, the festival may be a celebration of the nomadic and traditional lifestyles of the people of Bhutan. an ideal destination for those that wish to experience the normal Bhutanese culture. The festival exhibits the colourful local culture, complemented with the local cuisine, sports, drinks, religious performances, dance and songs. With the picture-perfect Haa’ scenic landscape within the background, the festival is that the ideal chance to capture truth essence of Bhutan and its scenic beauty. A treat for photographers, there’s also a photography contest at the festival.

Attraction of the festival:

Local sports, dance, music and cuisines on offer.
The festival may be a perfect spot to urge familiar with the local culture.
Photography contest and mountain-biking also are major attractions of the festival.

Location: Haa

Merak Tshechu, Merak Valley

Fairs and Festivals You Must See in Bhutan

Celebrated within the lush green Merak Valley within the eastern Bhutan, the festival may be a celebration of the local culture and traditions. During the course of the festival, the whole community close to place up an exhibition of the exuberant local culture. The three-days festival offers an insight into the Brokpas community, bringing you closer to nature and its beauty. A community still thriving without using money, the homegrown and homemade culture of the Brokpas is on display during the festival.

Attraction of the festival:

The three days festival is marked by traditional dance, music and celebration.
Yak dance performance is additionally a serious attraction of this festival.

Location: Merak Valley


Matsutake Festival, Bumthang

Fairs and Festivals You Must See in Bhutan

If you happen to be a foodie, this festival in Bhutan may be a perfect choice for you. A cultural festival aimed toward spreading awareness about the sustainable harvesting of the local mushrooms and promoting the organic harvesting. Exhibiting the indigenous mushrooms and lots of more organic food, Matsutake Festival may be a feast for each visitor. Organised within the picturesque Ura Valley, the festival offers an ideal blend of lip-smacking local delicacies amidst the posh of nature. you’ll also participate within the mushroom picking excursion and getting familiar with the agricultural Bhutanese lifestyle.

Attraction of the festival:

Mushroom picking excursion is additionally a serious attraction of this festival.

Location: Ura Valley, Bumthang

Wangdue Phodrang Tshechu, Wangdue Phodrang

Fairs and Festivals You Must See in Bhutan

Wangdue Phodrang, the gateway of Eastern Bhutan, celebrates the annual festival of Wangdue Phodrang Tshechu with furor and great joy per annum. Introduced by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the festival has been celebrated since the 17th century. a spiritual and cultural festival known for local songs and decorative speeches(Lozeys), it exhibits the colorful culture and traditions with great pride. Also, celebrating the great deeds of Guru Rinpoche, the dance performed at the festivals aim to thank deities for his or her blessings. The Dance of Ox may be a major tourist attraction of the festival which concludes with the unfurling of the Guru Tshengye Thongdrol.

Attraction of the festival:

The Dance of Ox or Raksha Mancham may be a famous dance performed at the festival.
The festival is understood for the recital of the local songs and therefore the ornamental speeches(Losey).

Location: Wangdue Phodrang

Thimphu Tshechu, Thimphu

Fairs and Festivals You Must See in Bhutan

A 3-day cultural extravaganza exhibiting the colorful culture and proud heritage of Bhutan, Thimphu Tshechu maybe a festival celebrated to commemorate the birth of Guru Rinpoche. The festival is widely known within the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu on the 10th day of the 8th month of the calendar . one among the foremost popular festivals of Bhutan, it’s attended by locals from neighboring districts. a spiritual festival, Thimphu Tshechu is marked by days and nights of prayers to invoke God. it’s believed that by attending this festival, one gains merit points. Thimphu Tshechu festival celebrates the prosperity of the country and its citizens, and therefore the rituals of the festivals aim to hunt blessings of deities.

Attraction of the festival:

The locals dress up in finery and perform dance rituals that were established by lamas.
The dance rituals are meant to invoke deities of tantric teachings.
Dance rituals like Dance of the Lords of the Cremation Ground, Dance of the Terrifying Deities, Mask dances performed by lay monks, and Dances of the 21 Black Hats are a number of the foremost famous dances rituals of Thimphu Tshechu.

Location: Thimphu

Jambay Lhakhang Drup, Bumthang

Fairs and Festivals You Must See in Bhutan

A must-see religious and cultural festival within the town of Bumthang, this 4-day festival is an exhibition of the rich culture and heritage of Bhutan. The festival is widely known for 2 reasons – one being the celebration of the deeds of Guru Rinpoche and the other being the celebration of the commemoration of the establishment of the Jambay Lhakhang temple of the 7th century. it’s marked by various dance rituals just like the naked dance (tourists aren’t allowed to ascertain it) and dancing under the hearth being the foremost famous. Like many other religious festivals across Bhutan, Jambay Lhakhang Drup is additionally celebrated as how to thank deities for bestowing the land with prosperity and happiness.

Attraction of the festival:

Ter Cham is that the naked masked dance performed by the lamas and locals in the dark.
The fire dance referred to as Mewang is an expression of blessings from the fire god, the dance is performed to bless infertile women.

Location: Bumthang


Information that can help you plan your trip to Bhutan with ease:

Bhutan Tour from India

How to reach Bhutan:

You can enter Bhutan only through the air or via land.

By air: there’s just one international airport in Bhutan, which is in Paro. The flight to Paro is an adventure in itself. Only three airlines fly to and from Paro – Druk Air, Bhutan Airlines, and Buddha Air. The airport is well-connected to major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Gaya, Kolkata.

By road: Entering Bhutan via road is merely possible through Indo-Bhutan borders. Entering via roads through China and Tibet isn’t allowed. The three land borders are Gelephu, Phuentsholing, and Samdrup Jongkhar.

Best time to go to Bhutan:

Bhutan features a diverse climate due to changes in altitude and also due to the southwest and northeast monsoon from India. However, between September to November is that the best time to go to Bhutan to witness the scenic beauty.

Spring: March to May
Monsoon: June to August
Autumn: September to November
Winter: December to February

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Written by Vinod K


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