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.

Tshechus are grand events where entire communities come together to witness religious mask dances, receive blessings and socialize. . In addition to the mask dances tshechus also include  colorful 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 Tshechus 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, colorful and exciting displays of traditional culture.

 

Mongar Tshechu

The main inhabitants of this region are the Tshanglas and the Kurtoeps. They speak distinct languages known as Tshanglakha and Kurtoepaikha. This region is famous for its exquisite wood carvings. The new Dzong in Mongar was built at the initiative of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in 1953....
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Nimalung Festival

The Lhakhang was co-founded by Dasho Gonpo Dorji and Doring Trulku Jamyang Kunzang, the third mind-aspect reincarnation of Terton Jigme Lingpa in 1935. The main relic of the two-storied temple is a magnificent statue of Guru Rimpoche. The monastery is decorated with murals of the Nyingmapa and D...
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Nomad Festival

You’ll gain an intimate glimpse into the proud communities that have survived virtually unchanged to this day and form a rich part of Bhutan’s ethnic and cultural diversity. Dine on delicious traditional recipes whilst sitting cross-legged around a stone hearth as families from this region have ...
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Paro Tshechu

The Tsehchu is considered a major attraction and people travel from neighboring districts to participate in the festivity. Early in the morning on the last day of the celebration the monks display a gigantic thangkha (embroidered painting) , the Guru Throngdel, inside the dzong. Thongdrols are esp...
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Pema Gatshel Tshechu

The district is known for its numerous festivals and folk songs. The most notable folk song is the Ausa, a song that is sung during the departure of family members, friends and relatives. Since the construction of the dzong in the early 1980’s, they have also celebrated the annual Tshechu over a t...
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Punakha Tshechu and Drubchen

Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal is known as the unifier of Bhutan as a nation state and he was the one who gave Bhutan and its people the distinct cultural identity that identified Bhutan from the rest of the world. During 17th century Bhutan was invaded several times by Tibetan forces seeking to...
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Sakteng Festival

Living close to nature in this pristine wilderness, the Brokpas way of life has remained virtually unchanged through the years and they still mainly depend upon yak rearing and animal husbandry for their livelihoods. Sakteng valley remains untouched and unspoiled by the influence of the outside wo...
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Takin Festival

The festival is set in Gasa Dzongkhag within Jigme Dorji National Park, the second largest national preserve in the country. The park encompasses areas that are rich in temperate biodiversity and medicinal plants. This picturesque area offers spectacular views of awe-inspiring natural beauty where...
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Thimphu Tshechu

When it was initiated by the 4th Desi, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay in 1867 the Tshechu consisted of only a few dances being performed strictly by monks. These were the Zhana chham and the Zhana Nga chham (Dances of the 21 Black Hats), Durdag (Dance of the Lords of the Cremation Ground), and the Tungam ch...
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Trongsa Tshechu

The dzong built in 1648, is a massive structure with many levels, sloping down the contours of the ridge upon which it is built. The dzong’s highly strategic position, on the only connecting route between Eastern and Western Bhutan allowed the Trongsa Penlop to control travel and trade in the coun...
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Ura Yakchoe

According to legend an old woman sitting outside her house was visited by a lama asking for a drink of water. When she came out with the water, the lama had vanished leaving behind only a sack. Out of curiosity, she checked the bag and found the statue that is now displayed annually. This relic ha...
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Wangduephodrang Tshechu

The annual Wangduephodrang Tshechu was introduced by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal after the completion of the dzong. The three-day annual Tshechu is attended by people from Punakha and Thimphu and provides the people with an occasion for merrymaking and revelry. The Tshechu is known for the Raksha Ma...
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Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival

  The Tshechu is takes place every December 13th at the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang Festival Ground located at Dochula Pass around 22km from the capital city Thimphu. Dochula Pass is one of the most scenic locations in the entire kingdom, offering a stunning panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain ra...
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Trashigang Tshechu

It was built in 1651 and over the years has played a crucial role as the administrative center of the district. In the 17th century it was also essential in defending the province as it withstood several Tibetan attacks that were launched from Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. Every village in the di...
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The Black-necked Crane Festival

The annual black-necked crane festival is organized  to generate awareness and understanding on the importance of conserving the endangered Black‐necked cranes; to strengthen the linkages between conservation, economic welfare and sustainable livelihoods of the community;  provide an avenue for th...
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Chorten Kora Festival

Dakpa Kora is held on the 15th day of the 3rd month corresponding to 28th February and Drukpa Kora (circumbulation by the Bhutanese) is held on the 30th day corresponding to 15th March every year (Check with your tour operator to confirm these dates).  The Chorten (Stupa) was built by Lama Ngawa...
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Gomphu Kora Festival

Gomphu means “Meditation Cave” and Kora means “Circumambulation”. The name is derived from a cave formed out of a rock-face next to a temple that has been built as a tribute to this sacred site. The story of Gomphu Kora goes back to the 8th century AD. Legend has it ...
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Haa Summer Festival

It provides unparalleled insight into the lives and traditions of Bhutan’s nomadic herders. Immerse yourself in this one of a kind experience by playing the local sports, sampling the delicious home-cooked cuisine and enjoying traditional songs and dances all while imbibing the heady local liquor ...
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Jambay Lhakhang Festival

Jambay 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 residin...
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Kurjey Festival

The history of the temples at Kurjey is associated with Sindhu Raja and Guru Rimpoche. Sindhu Raja invited Guru Rimpoche from Nepal to Bhutan to subdue some evil spirits that had been plaguing the land. Upon invitation, Guru Rimpoche visited Bumthang and meditated in a cave that resembled a pile o...
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Lhuntse Tshechu

A small hermitage and a temple was built in 1552 by Ngagi Wangchuk and later enlarged to its present state by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Almost every village in Lhuntse boasts of festivals that are unique and distinct from those in other communities in Bhutan. Two notable festivals are the Cha a...
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Matsutake Festival

Learn to identify and harvest the fabled wild Matsutake mushrooms of Bhutan. Prized by gourmets in Japan, this fungi is native to the forests of Ura valley in central Bhutan.  Hike the valley’s fragrant trails and give in to the thrill of discovering your own private patch of this most ...
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Merak Tshechu

Living close to nature in this pristine wilderness, the Brokpas way of life has remained virtually unchanged for thousands of years and they depend almost entirely on yak rearing and animal husbandry for their livelihoods. Bartering is still the main form of economic activity amongst the Brokpas. ...
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