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!

FESTIVAL CALENDAR FOR 2020

No. Festival Place Date
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.