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Festivals of Bhutan
In the happy destination of Bhutan, festivals celebrate the culture and happiness of Bhutanese population in the best possible way. The festivals of Bhutan bring out the joys of happiness in full form in the form of masked festival dances, monastery art, Buddhist festivals, etc. These occasions bring up the profound colours of culture into light and make sure that the country’s richness and cultural diversity is cherished in full form.
Choreographed to perfection, the special celebrations exhibit the traditionally vibrant and colourful dance performances. The famous of the festival in the country is Tsechu. This largest annual festival features a series of masked dances or cham by monks in monasteries goembas of Dzong courtyards in honour of Guru Rinpoche or Padmasambhava. The monks dress in striking costumes and charm the locals and travellers alike. The highlight of this ceremony is the unveiling of giant Buddhist Thangka from a building overlooking the dance arena before sunrise. Such thangkas are called thondrols, meaning ‘liberation on sight’, and it is believed that one’s sins are washed away upon viewing one of these impressive relics. The believers say that they earn merit by attending the tsechu festivals and witnessing the ritualized dance performances.
Photography is not permitted during such annual festivals. While travelling during festivals, this facet should be kept in mind for a friendly and enjoyable travel experience.
Lunar calendar is followed by Royal Public Service Commission to ascertain the dates of the occasions. Hence, prior to organizing a festival tour of Bhutan, make sure you check up with the dates of the current calendar.
The national holidays are scheduled for following specific dates -
Birthday of Fifth King - 21, 22 & 23 February
Birthday of Third King - 2 May
Coronation of Fourth King - 2 June; also marked as ‘Social Forest Day’
Coronation of Druk Gyalpo - 1 November
Constitution Day/Fourth King’s Birthday - 11 November
National Day 17 December; the date of the establishment of the monarchy in 1907
The following holidays based on the traditional lunar calendar vary in Gregorian dates. We are mentioning the tentative months for traveller’s guidance and suggestion.
Losar January/February, New Year
Zhabdrung Kuchoe April/May; death of Zhabdrung
Buddha Paranirvana/Saga Dawa May/June; enlightenment and death of Buddha
Birthday of Guru Rinpoche June/July
First sermon of Buddha - July
Dashain October; Hindu celebration
All such occasions are perfect to schedule an enriching trip to Bhutan. You can also schedule a trip to Bhutan during festivals. Just you have to drop in the query and details for a rewarding travel experience.