Religious festivals, known as tsechus, are an intrinsic part of Bhutanese cultural life and a great way to experience local culture and traditions on your trip.
At festivals, people from all walks of life assemble in their finery to watch masked dances and rituals, to socialise and to rejoice. Festivals are observed throughout the year across the kingdom and showcase the best religious dances dating from the Middle Ages, performed only once or twice a year by monks and laymen.
If you would like to attend a festival, have a look at the festival dates for 2023. If you are planning further ahead then you can view the tentative festival dates for 2024, although note that these may still change.
If the idea of a festival captures your imagination have a look at some sample itineraries for Thimphu festival, Paro festival and Ura festival, Punakha festival and Bumthang Drup (also known as Jamba Lhakhang festival)
Tip: If you want to visit one of the most popular festivals you should try to book at least 6 months ahead to get the best choice of flights and hotels.
Or you may like to visit one of the less visited local festivals, although you should be prepared to find yourself as much the centre of attention as the masked dancers in that case!
In addition to religious festivals, some themed community festivals have been developed to encourage tourists to visit Bhutan in different seasons and more out of the way places.