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Festivals in Bhutan
Thimphu Festival

Religious festivals are held annually in Bhutan's dzongs at various times of the year. The main purpose of the festivals is to ward off evil through music, dancing, and rituals and to bring good fortune to the next year. You can watch mask dances, sword dances, and fire dances performed in the courtyards of the dzongs. Each dance has its own spiritual importance and can be performed either by monks or lay persons, and most of the dances date back to before the Middle Ages. At the end of some festivals you can witness the unveiling of a "thongrel," which is a tapestry of sorts that is hung from a wall in the dzong's courtyard. It is said that watching the unveiling of a thongrel will bring you good luck.

Many visitors come to Bhutan to enjoy the most popular festivals, which are held in Paro in the spring and in Thimphu and Bumthang in the fall. Festivals are well worth attending because they give you a different sense of the Bhutanese culture, plus they're fun and entertaining. Due to the interest in the festivals, these are the busiest times of the year for tourism. If you wish to attend a festival, we strongly suggest that you book your trip well in advance, as seat availability on Druk Air is limited.

Tentative Festival Dates for 2014
Festival Name Place Start Date End Date
Takin Festival Gasa Feb 21, 2014 Feb 23, 2014
Nomad Festival Bumthang Feb 22, 2014 Feb 24, 2014
Punakha Drubchen Punakha Mar 08, 2014 Mar 10, 2014
Punakha Tshechu Punakha Mar 11, 2014 Mar 13, 2014
Tharpaling Throngdrol Bumthang Mar 16, 2014
Chhorten Kora Trashi Yangtse Mar 16, 2014 Mar 30, 2014
Gasa Tshechu Gasa Apr 06, 2014 Apr 10, 2014
Zhemgang Tshechu Zhemgang Apr 07, 2014 Apr 10, 2014
Gomphukora Trashi Yangtse Apr 07, 2014 Apr 09, 2014
Talo Tshechu Punakha Apr 07, 2014 Apr 09, 2014
Paro Tshechu Paro Apr 11, 2014 Apr 15, 2014
Rhobodendron Festival Thimphu Apr 18, 2014 Apr 20, 2014
Domkhar Tshechu Bumthang May 09, 2014 May 11, 2014
Ura Yakchoe Bumthang May 10, 2014 May 14, 2014
Nimalung Tshechu Bumthang Jun 05, 2014 Jun 07, 2014
Kurjey Tshechu Bumthang Jun 07, 2014
Haa Summer Festival Haa Valley Jul 05, 2014 Jul 07, 2014
Thimphu Drubchen Thimphu Sep 28, 2014 Oct 02, 2014
Wangdue Tshechu Wangdue Phodrang Oct 01, 2014 Oct 03, 2014
Gangtey Tshechu Wangdue Phodrang Oct 01, 2014 Oct 03, 2014
Tamshing Phala Chhoepa Bumthang Oct 02, 2014 Oct 04, 2014
Thimphu Tshechu Thimphu Oct 03, 2014 Oct 05, 2014
Gasa Tshechu Gasa Oct 03, 2014 Oct 05, 2014
Thangbi Mani Bumthang Oct 07, 2014 Oct 09, 2014
Pemagatshel Tshechu Pemagatshel Oct 30, 2014 Nov 02, 2014
Jakar Tshechu Bumthang Oct 31, 2014 Nov 03, 2014
Chhukha Tshechu Chukha Oct 31, 2014 Nov 02, 2014
Jambay Lhakhang Drup Bumthang Nov 06, 2014 Nov 10, 2014
Prakhar Dromchen Bumthang Nov 07, 2014 Nov 09, 2014
Black-Necked Crane Festival Gangtey Nov 11, 2014
Mongar Tshechu Mongar Nov 28, 2014 Dec 01, 2014
Trashigang Tshechu Trashigang Nov 30, 2014 Dec 02, 2014
Nalakhang Tshechu Bumthang Dec 06, 2014 Dec 08, 2014
Druk Wangyel Tshechu Thimphu Dec 13, 2014
Lhuentse Tshechu Lhuentse Dec 30, 2014 Jan 01, 2015
Trongsa Tshechu Trongsa Dec 30, 2014 Jan 01, 2015
Please note that all efforts have been made to confirm the festival dates with Asssociation of Bhutanese Tour Operators (ABTO). The dates of the festivals change from year to year because they are based on the lunar calendar, which itself changes every year.
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