Bhutan Festivals

Tshechu is a religious festival meaning “tenth day” held annually in various temples, monasteries and dzongs throughout the country.

The Tshechu is a religious event celebrated on tenth day of a month of the lunar calendar corresponding to the birthday of Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padmasambhava). However the exact month of the Tshechu varies from place to place and temple to temple.

Tshechu’s are grand events where entire communities come together to witness religious mask dances, receive blessings and socialize. In addition to the mask dances, tshechu’s also include  colourful Bhutanese dances and other forms of entertainment.

It is believed that everyone must attend a Tshechu and witness the mask dances at least once to in order to receive blessings and wash away their sins. Every mask dance performed during a Tshechu has a special meaning or a story behind it and many are based on stories and incidents from as long ago as the 8th century, during the life of Guru Padmasambhava. In monasteries the mask dances are performed by monks and in remote villages they are performed jointly by monks and village men.

Two of the most popular Tshechu’s in the country are the Paro and Thimphu Tshechus in terms of participation and audience. Besides the locals many tourists from across the world are attracted to these unique, colourful and exciting displays of traditional culture.

If you are interested in experiencing first hand one of Bhutan’s vibrant festivals, please contact us today for more information.

Dochula Festival

Date: 13th December 2015.

The Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival start from year 2011 and the festival will take place every year on December 13 at the Druk Wangyel Lhakhang’s Festival ground.  The festival is related to important national landmarks while the date commemorates the commencement of the military expedition of 2003.

The Festival’s   impressive modern Bhutanese monuments and both monuments were built as a tribute to the wise leadership of the Wangchuck dynasty in general, and the temple was built under the personal supervision of Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wanghuck, a year after she built the 108 Druk Wangyel Chortens. Druk Wangyel Lhakhang was consecrated in June 2008,the wise leadership of His Majesty the Fourth King in particular, the works on the powerful mural paintings, the temple took almost four years to build.

The Dochula pass is one of the most spectacular passes in Bhutan and is about 45 minutes’ drive (22km) from the capital city, Thimphu.   The pass (3080) marks the watershed between the districts of Thimphu on the western side and Punakha on the eastern side. It presents a panoramic view of these districts and some others beyond them.

 

Jakar Festival

Dates: 20th Oct – 23rd Oct 2015.

The Jakar festivals begin with the famous mask dances. Festival will be held on auspicious day and months in the Bhutanese calendar, and last up to four days in which a series of highly stylised masked dance rituals are performed, who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century. There is simply no better way of experiencing the color, passion and sheer vibrancy of Bhutan than by attending one of the numerous religious festivals that take place around the year.

 

Jampa lhakhang Festival

Dates: 27th – 30th Oct 2015

Jampa lhakhang is located in Bumthang and is situated on the way to the Kurjie Lhakhang. Jampa Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in the kingdom. It was founded by, Songtsen Gampo, a Tibetan King in the 7th century AD.  The king was destined to build 108 temples known as Thadhul- Yangdhul (temples on and across the border) in a day to subdue the demoness that was residing in the Himalayas. The temple is one of the two of the 108 built in Bhutan. The other is the Kichu lhakhang in Paro, believed to have been built on the same day. Ever year there festival called Jambay Lhakhang Drup.

 

Kurjey Festival

Dates: 26th June 2015

Kurje Tshechu is annually celebrated on 10th day of 5th months in Bhutanese calendar. The complex is surrounded by 108 chortens, transforming it into a three dimensional Mandala patterned on the lines of the Samye Monastery in Tibet, “ Kur” means body and “Jey” its print-it is here that guru pabmasabhave meditated when he first visited the country. The second temple dates back to 1990 having been constructed by Ugyen Wangchuck when he was Trongsa penlop.

 

Paro Festival

Dates: Mar 20th – 24th 2016

Paro Tsechu is one of the most popular festivals in Bhutan. Featuring dances performed by trained monks and laymen in amazing masks and costumes. A highlight of the Paro Tsechu is the unfurling of the silk Thangka – so large it covers the face of an entire building and is considered one of the most sacred blessings in the whole of Bhutan. The ‘Thangka, known in Bhutan as a ‘thongdroel’ is a religious picture scroll, and is only exhibited for a few hours at daybreak on the final day of the festival enabling the people to obtain its blessing. This holy scroll “confers liberation by the mere sight of it” (the meaning of the word ‘thongdroel’ in Bhutanese). This festival occurs during the beautiful spring time.

 

Punakha Festival

Date:       28th February- 2nd March
Place:     Inside of Punakha Dzong.

The Punthang Dechen Phodrang or Punakha Dzong stands in the middle of the Phochu (male) and Mochu (Female) rivers. It was built by Zhabdrung Nyawang Namgyal in 1637,the prophecy made by guru Rimpochee in the 8th Century. The Puathang Dechecn Phodrang means “ palace of great Happiness.Punakha Dromchoe is dedicated to Mahakala, the goddess of death and Protector Of Buddhist monasteries, appearing in countless wall frescoes and relates story from 17th century when Tibetan army invaded Bhutan.  The Dromchoe finale portrays the zest of the Bhutanese soldiers whom smitten with war the courtyard of the dzong to fight the invading Tibetan.

 

Thimpu Festival

Date:  23rd Sept- 25th Sept 2015

The Thimphu Festival (Tsechu) is one of the grandest of Bhutan’s festivals and attracts the largest audience. Featuring dances performed by trained monks and laymen in amazing masks and costumes, Tsechus (festivals) are one of the best ways to experience the ancient living culture of Bhutan. The Thimphu Tsechu was established by the 4th Temporal Ruler, Tenzing Rabgye (1638-1696) in 1670. This festival also provides a great opportunity to witness locals gathered in their finest Gho’s and Kira’s in a celebration of their culture and faith.

 

Trongsa Festival

Date: Dec/Jan
Palace: Trongsa Dzong

Trongsa was one of the most important towns in Bhutan. It was from here than our kingdom was unified. The Dzong and township occupy one of the most spectacular sites in Bhutan. Our lodging is at the new Yanghill Resort which, besides being one of best hotel facilities in Bhutan, affords the most dramatic panorama of the town, the dzong, and the steep river valleys.

 

Wangdue Festival

Date: 21st – 23rd Sep 2015

The Wangdiphodrang is 72Km from Thimphu, it take 3hours through pass Dochula. Wangdue Tshechu is found by 4th Temporal Ruler of Bhutan, Mr. Tenzing Rabgye (1638-1696) to commemorate the birth of Guru Padmasambhave the lotus born for the benefit of the people of the kingdom and especially for shar, Wang and Their. The Tshechu will dance by monk and laymen.

Thongdrol The great Thangka:  the thangka will display at dawn with cleansing and Shugdrel (Offering) Ceremony by the Monk body from Wangduephodrang dzong, presided by the Head Lama.The Laymen mask and folk dancers perform also in front of the Thangka shing Shey Pem dance, After wards, the Thanka is rolled and folded and is kept out of sight inside the dzong until the next Tshechu.The “Thongdrol” of Wangdiphodrang is made for the represents the Eight Manifestation of Guru Rimpoche. It was completed and shows for the first time in 1984.