Bhutan is full of religious festivals. The well- known festivals are the Tsechus which are held at different times of the year in different locations. Tsechus are celebrated for three to five days with both monks and laymen taking part in the ritual mask dances. The people of Bhutan celebrate many festivals unique to themselves, like the Bhutanese New Year, and the summer solstice festival. They also have a various amount of harvest and religious festivals celebrated throughout the year.
To coincide with the end of the harvest, the Tshechu festival is the biggest and best festival in Bhutan and is celebrated all over the country. This festival is held in April some time, depending on the lunar calendar. It is a religious festival and the best place to see this is in Bhutan’s capital city, Thimphu. During this festival, monks perform masked dances that have special religious significances. According to legend, these dances appeared in the dreams and visions of a Buddhist master. The steps and moves seen in these visions are strictly adhered to, to alter them is considered as sacrilege and no dance master would accept any such meddling with the dance steps. This is an awesome festival to observer, if you can coordinate your trip to coincide with it.
Another festival in Bhutan is the Punakha festival in February. This festival celebrates Bhutan’s victory over the invading Tibetan armies.
One of the oldest festivals in Bhutan is the Chorten Cora, held In Trashinyangtse in the first month of the Bhutanese lunar calendar. During this festival, the old and young alike make rounds of a stupa or temple to earn themselves good merit and good health for this life and the next. The stupa at Trashinyangtse is the oldest and biggest in Bhutan it is set in a cliff face and surrounded by a beautiful lake.
Festivals in Bhutan are certainly a colorful and vibrant affair and to see one can be the highlight of any trip in to the land of the thunder dragon.