Bhutan festivals reflect the spirituality as well as the vibrant culture of the Thunder Dragon kingdom through the ups and downs of the historical journey. Once visiting this extraordinary country, it is essential to attend the stunning folk festival at least one time in your life to witness the unique Cham dance and approach authentic Bhutan with the friendly community. Traditional festivals in Bhutan takes place all year round in honor of Saint Guru Rinpoche who introduced Buddhism for the Bhutanese people in the 8th century. Amongst them, there are 5 most famous religious festivals including Paro Tsechu, Thimphu Tsechu, Jambay Lhakhang Drup, Punakha Drubchen, and Ura Yakchoe. With the lively atmosphere and full of colors will ensure a remarkable experience in Bhutan tour.Bhutan Festivals - Top 5 Biggest Festivals Of Bhutan

Top 5 Biggest Festivals of Bhutan

1. Paro Tsechu Festival

Paro Tsechu is one of the most popular and vivid festivals of Bhutan takes place in Paro, one of Bhutan’s major towns in the west. It is annually celebrated on the early April or late of March depending on the lunar calendar and lasted for 4 to 5 days in honor of Saint Guru Rinpoche who was a Buddhist master of the 8th century. Attending this amazing celebration, visitors will deeply indulge in the vibrancy as well as have a chance to wear the traditional dress of Bhutan to witness the charm and the fascinating performances of the monks and other people cover their faces by the silk masks to perform the cham (the religious ritual dance). Here you will experience the sounds of trumpets, flute and other traditional musical instruments of the country. This also a great chance to meet the King of Bhutan who is the youngest king in the world. Unlike other Kings, he is extremely simple and close to his people. However, you should notice that photograph and even ask the king for taking a photo are not encouraged during this time. On the final day of the festival, visitors will admire a giant religious picture called Thangka depicting the life of the Buddha. The painting is made from silk, cotton and used as a teaching tool telling the story of mythology as well as the crucial historical events in the past. With a variety of sizes as well as the anger and peaceful images, this would be a great chance for visitors to discover the unique culture of the Himalayan kingdom.Paro Festival - Bhutan Traditional Festival

2. Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival

Jambay Lhakhang Drup is held in Jambay temple of Bumthang district (or Jakar) – one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. This celebration takes place on the late October or November (depending on the lunar calendar) and lasts about 4 days to commemorate the temple’s establishment and to honor saint Guru Rinpoche who introduced the Buddhism to the kingdom. Besides the unique mask dance performed in other the festivals, Jambay Lhakhang Drup witnesses the special naked dance also known as the “Ter Cham”. At midnight, a group of men with faces covered by traditional masks and naked body go to the courtyard of the temple and perform the sacred dance. According to the legend of the country, the performance is believed to ward off the evil. Jambay Lhakhang Drup is thought to be the oldest and most sacred ritual of Bhutan.Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival - traditional festivals in bhutan

3. Punakha Drubchen & Tsechu

Punakha Drubchen and Tsechu, along with other outstanding celebrations around the country, are the majestic festivals of Bhutan. Punakha Drubchen is one of the oldest festivals takes place in Punakha where is home to the former capital of the Thunder Dragon Kingdom, three days of Drubchen held before three days of Tsechu. It is celebrated to commemorate the victory of the country when Zhabdung Ngawang Namgyal defeated the Tibetan dominants led to the unification to the country. Likewise, Punakha Tsechu is one of the most popular events celebrated annually across the country. These two festivals reflect the spiritual richness of the Bhutanese people and significantly contribute to the cultural diversity of the country.Punakha Drubchen - biggest bhutan festivals

4. Haa Summer Festival

Haa Summer festival – a special event features by the lively and fascinating atmosphere takes place on the early of July. Here if other Tsechu traditional festivals are imposed with the formality and solemnity, Haa Summer Festival offers you a chance to immerse in the vibrant and lively experiences. This is an ideal time for tourists to visit the majestic Haa Valley and explore the country’s traditional sports, music and take part in uplifting activities such as riding, especially kayaking along the stunning Haa river.Bhutan Haa Summer Festival

5. Thimphu Tsechu Festival

Last but not least, Thimphu Tsechu, like Paro Tsechu, is one of the grandest festivals of Bhutan takes place in the capital city and lasts for three days in honor to the saint Guru Rinpoche (also known as Padmasambhava). If Paro Tsechu is the highlight of the spring festival, Thimphu Tshechu is celebrated on September making it one of the best things do to and see in Bhutan in the autumn. This occasion is also the best time to visit Bhutan when the weather is pleasant, the sky is bright blue coupled with many people from all districts throughout the country head to the capital to attend the colorful festival after harvesting time. Thimphu Tsechu is believed to remove all bad Karma and bless for the good luck for all people who witness the sacred cham performances. Noticeably, these performances send a meaningful message. According to Eastern and Bhutan culture, there is an existence of another life after life. Hence, the cham dances convey the life of people after his death until his rebirth.Thimphu festival - traditional festival in Bhutan

Tips for Bhutan travel in Festival Season

Traditional festivals play a vital role in the spiritual life of Bhutanese people by preserving and developing the country’s unique tradition and culture. Hence, visitors are encouraged to dress modestly in Bhutan traditional dress and avoid wearing shorts, shorts skirts or crop tops whenever you attending the festival. Additionally, important celebrations witness enormous visitors and thus the accommodation during this time is always at the premium and scarcity. For this reason, it is better to book early as soon as you plan Bhutan festival tours in order not to miss an opportunity to indulge in excellent experiences.Tips for Bhutan travel in Festival Season