The 3 Best Bhutan Festivals That You Should Attend


It’s believed that everyone must attend a Tshechu at least once in their lifetime.

Watching the festivities is considered by many Bhutanese to be a blessing and it is essential in order to gain enlightenment.

So, let’s see which are the most beautiful Bhutanese Festivals that you should attend.

#1. Matsutake Festival

Matsutake Festival is a festival of the people of Ura Valley in celebration of mushroom season.

This is the time to celebrate the harvest of Matsutake mushrooms of Bhutan, enjoy mouth melting Bhutanese cuisine and get a peek inside the lifestyle of people in the Bhutanese villages.

The Matsutake mushroom is one of the most delicious and expensive mushroom in the world. It is prized by all gourmets around the world, but can be found only  in Bhutan.

Head to the festival to learn more about these mushrooms.

Enjoy a day sampling the delicious dishes while singing and dancing alongside the locals.

Gain insights into sustainable harvesting practices of the local communities.

See popular mask dances being performed by the locals and the monks.

Highlights: Picking Matsutake mushrooms and relishing special local dishes from it.

Festival time: In the month of August

See Itinerary for this Tour : Be wowed by the wonders of Bhutan

Matsutake Mushroom
Matsutake Mushroom

#2. Thimphu Tshechu

One of the grandest and oldest Tshechus in Bhutan is the Thimphu Festival, which was first established in 1670 by the fourth Temporal Ruler Tenzing Rabgye.

It attracts entire communities from all over the country who come in their finest clothing to witness mystical dances performed by trained monks and laymen, socialise and receive blessings.

Even the farmers take a break from their farming life and join hands to worship night and day and play rituals to invoke God.

The highlight of the Thimphu Tshechu is the cham or religious mask dance performed by monks clad in flamboyant costumes.

The Bhutanese believe that by attending a cham, they will wash away their sins and receive blessings.

Each cham is unique and has an interesting story behind it stretching back as early as the 8th century. With the aim of imparting moral values, scenes from the life of Guru Rimpoche, the founder of cham dancing were also re-enacted.

Some of the most appealing and exotic dances include the ‘Dance of the terrifying Gods’, the ‘Dance of the twenty-one black hats’ and the ‘Dance of the lords of cremation’. Moreover, other forms of captivating Bhutanese dances were also performed, with much fanfare.

Undoubtedly, the Thimphu Tsechus is one of the best ways to experience the ancient living culture of Bhutan, gain insight into the nation’s religion and admire the deep faith and devotion of the Bhutanese people.

Festival time: In the month of October

See Itinerary for this Tour : Head off radar in festive Bhutan

Thimphu Festival
Thimphu Festival

#3. Gangtey Festival

This festival is celebrated to commemorate the great deeds of 8th century Tantric master Guru Padmasambhava who brought Mahayana Buddhism in Bhutan.

Adorned with colorful costumes, the dances are performed by both monks and villagers with outstanding energy and locals gather to witness in their finest hand woven bright dresses.

Blaring horns, booming drums, and clashing cymbals accompany them as they whirl and leap around the courtyard of the monastery.

The festival is blessed with indefinite virtues and prayers: a mere visit cleanses one of sins, fulfills wishes and guides the path to Nirvana (Liberation from the cycle of existence).

Join an 8-day or a 10-day Bhutan unique cultural tour and discover what makes Bhutan unique.

Festival time: In the month of October

See Itinerary for this Tour : Escape to Bhutan – Land of Festivals

Gangtey Festival
Gangtey Festival