If you wish to witness a Festival in Bhutan,then it is advised to book your Bhutan Tour as early as possible,as during festival time, it is difficult to get a Hotel booking or Bhutan flight tickets.
There are TWO Types of Festivals in Bhutan, ONE is the “Tsechus” which is religious, and TWO is the Nature and Local Events Festival like the Rhododendron Festival, Matsutake Mushroom Festival, The “Takin” Festival(Takin is the National Animal of Bhutan), The Black Necked Crane Festival and The Nomads Festival.
Depending on your Bhutan Travel Dates and number of days that you will be in Bhutan, you can witness the Festivals.
When making a Bhutan Festival Tour Itinerary, we take into account that tourists will be doing some cultural and Leisure sightseeing in Bhutan. Below is a sketch travel plan and information to help you plan your holiday.
The Meaning For Bhutan Festivals or Tshechus.
Bhutan Festival known as “Tshechus” in Bhutanese is a festival that honors Guru Pasmasambhava “the one who was born from a lotus”. The dates and duration of the Festivals vary from district to district but is always commemorated on the 10th day of the Bhutanese calander.
During Tshechus,the dances are performed by the Lamas, monks and the laymen. One witnessing the festival is said to gain merit and receive blessings. Festivals in Bhutan are attended by the Tourists to Bhutan and its a social occasion where the locals gather dressed in their best attire and ornaments.
Bhutan Festivals are one of the many events where travelers and tourists to Bhutan want to witness. Some want to see the unique culture and traditions that Bhutan is so strongly rooted in, and some want to just experience the sacredness of the festivals. For the Bhutanese People, this is an annual occasion where all family members and friends come together to witness the festivals, same as in the past days, where people dressed in their best traditional attires and jewelry to receive the blessings and believed with great faith that their human souls would be liberated.
The word, TSECHU, is derived from the Dzongkha term for date (tse) and the number 10 (chutham). Appropriately, a tsechu is conducted on and around the auspicious tenth day of a selected month according to the Bhutanese Lunar calendar.
Like festivals everywhere the world over, a tsechu is a social affair. Populaces gather at the local dzong or lhakhang in the Western equivalent of their Sunday best with packed lunches and make merry. It is important to remember that a tsechu is essentially a religious affair. That is why the high-points of such festivals are the masked dances that monks perform according to steps meticulously choreographed by Buddhist masters in the distant past. Following narrative structures, these dances are loaded with religious symbolism that the non-Bhutanese will find hard to comprehend without a guide’s explanation.
The numbing clash and blend of colors as well as the symphony of traditional gongs, horns, cymbals and drums, however, make tsechus especially memorable auditory and visual experiences. For the Bhutanese, though, no tsechu is complete without atsaras (clowns). Performing seemingly lewd but symbolically philosophical antics, these clowns pass on divine blessings and ensure that smiles and laughs do not run short.
The best known tsechus are those of Paro and Punakha, which are held in the spring, and that of Thimphu, which is held in the fall. As these are the most popular traveling seasons, visitors may see other camera-sporting tourists, some much too eager to encroach upon performers’ space. While the generally polite Bhutanese may not admonish such trespassing, respectful behavior more appropriate to religious occasions will go better appreciated.
Happy Festival Time in Bhutan