There is nothing like attending a Tsechu Festival in Bhutan. Tsechu in the local language (Dzongkha) literally means the ‘tenth day’ of the month and is celebrated in different months throughout Bhutan in various Dzongs (fortresses) and monasteries. The festival commemorates the deeds of the Great Saint Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) in the form of well-choreographed mask dances, traditional songs, and dances by men and women dressed in colorful costumes.
The highlight of the festival is the sacred Cham dances which are performed by both laity and monks dressed in ornate costumes, with evocative titles like ‘’Dance of the Lords of Cremation Grounds’’, “Dance of the Terrifying Deities”, and “Dance of the Noblemen and the Ladies”, etc.
Apart from its religious significance, Tshechus are important social events, where the entire community comes together to celebrate, and serves as an important setting for social bonding and cohesion especially for people from remote areas. The locals also take this annual occasion as an opportunity to flaunt their finest traditional clothes and jewellery, and it is also an occasion to feast on traditional local dishes.
When considering a trip to Bhutan, it is worth taking the festival dates into account as there is generally a festival somewhere every month. With a bit of advanced planning it is highly likely that you would be able to attend a festival somewhere in the country.
The most popular festivals are in Paro and Thimphu, and due to limited accommodations, trips during these times often have to be booked up to a year in advance. However, as you move further away from these centres, you can find smaller festivals with fewer tourists where the experiences can be very intimate and as enjoyable. We will be happy to customize a tour plan for you if you would like a Tsechu to be the highlight of your trip to Bhutan!
|1||Punakha Drubchen||Punakha Dzong, Punakha||2nd – 4th March|
|2||Punakha Tshechu||Punakha Dzong, Punakha||2nd – 4th March|
|3||Tharpaling Thongdrol||Tharpaling Lhakhang,Chumi, Bumthang||9th March|
|4||Gomphukora||Gom Kora Lhakhang, Trashigang||1st -3rd April|
|5||Talo Tshechu||Talo Gonpa, Punakha||1st -3rd April|
|6||Gasa Tshechu||Gasa Tshechu, Gasa||1st -3rd April|
|7||Zhemgang Tshechu||Zhemgang Dzong, Zhemgang||1st -3rd April|
|8||Paro Tshechu||Rinpung Dzong, Paro||4th-8th April; Thongdrel on the last day|
|9||Chhorten Kora||Chorten Kora, Trashiyangtshe||8th April & 22nd April|
|10||Domkhar Tshechu||Domkhar, Chumni, Bumthang||3rd -5th May|
|11||Ura Yakchoe||Ura Lhakhang, Bumthang||4th – 8th May|
|12||Nimalung Tshechu||Nimalung Dratshang, Chumni||30th June– 1st July|
|13||Kurjey Tshechu||Kurjey Lhakhang, Choekhor, Bumthang||30th June|
|14||Tour of the Dragon||Bumthang to Thimphu||5th Sept|
|15||Thimphu Drubchen||Tashi Chhodzong, Thimphu||22nd Sept|
|16||Wangdue Tshechu||Tencholing Army Ground, Wangduephodrang.||24th – 26th Sept|
|17||Tamshing Phala Chhoepa||Tamshing lhakhang, Bumthang||26th – 28th Sept|
|18||Thimphu Tshechu||Tashi Chhodzong, Thimphu||26th – 28th Sept|
|19||Gangtey Tshechu||Gangtey Gonpa, Phobjikha, Wangduephodrang||28th Sept – 1st Oct; Thongdrel on the last day|
|20||Thangbi Mani||Gangtey Gonpa, Phobjikha, Wangduephodrang||28th Sept – 1st Oct; Thongdrel on the last day|
|21||Jakar Tshechu||Jakar Dzong, Choekhor, Bumthang||23rd -27th Oct|
|22||Chhukha Tshechu||Chhukha Dzong, Chhukha||24th – 26th Oct|
|23||Jambay Lhakhang Drup||Jambay Lhakhang, Choekhor, Bumthang||31st -3rd Nov|
|24||Prakhar Duchhoed||Prakar Khakhang, Chumni,Bumthang||1st – 3rd Nov|
|25||Dechenphu Tshechu||Dechenphu Lhakhang, Thimphu||26th Oct|
|26||Black Necked Crane Festival||Gangtey Gonpa, Phobjikha, Wangduephodrang||11th Nov|
|27||Mongar Tshechu||Mongar Dzong, Mongar||21st – 24th Nov|
|28||Trashigang Tshechu||Trashigang Dzong, Trashigang||22nd -25th Nov|
|29||Jambay Lhakhang SingyeCham||Jambay Lhakhang,Choekhor, Bumthang||30th Nov|
|30||Pemagatshel Tshechu||Pemagatshel Dzong, Pemagatshel||21st – 24th Nov; Thongdrel on the last day|
|31||Nalakhar Tshechu||Ngaa Lhakhang, Choekhor, Bumthang||30th – 2nd Dec|
|32||Druk Wangyel||Douchula, Thimphu||13th Dec|
|33||Trongsa Tshechu||Trongsa Dzong, Trongsa||10th – 13th Dec; Thongdrel on the last day|
|34||Lhuentse Tshechu||Lhuentse Dzong, Lhuentse||21st – 24th Dec; Thongdrel on the last day|
|35||Nabji Lhakhang Drup||Nabji Lhakhang, Nabji, Trongsa||29th –31st Dec|
NOTE: Festival dates are tentative and subject to change. Please check with us to reconfirm.