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.