10 Best Festivals of Bhutan to celebrate during your tour!

When traveling to a new place, every one of us wants to make the most of our time. And when you’re on our Bhutan Festival tours, you can immerse yourself into the local Bhutanese culture, traditions, and lifestyles. So when you travel to Bhutan make sure that you take in all the beautiful sights and awe-inspiring settings. Our carefully-designed tour will give you a chance to know the land of the Thunder Dragon better and explore some of the best festivals of Bhutan.

During our Bhutan festival tours, you’ll get the chance to witness the celebration of these vibrant festivals and learn more about their history. Here are some of the must-witness Bhutanese festivals or Tshechus.

1. Thimphu Tshechu: 

Also known as the national festival of Bhutan, locals and monks alike celebrate the three-day Thimphu Tshechu in the presence of Guru Tshengye (the eight manifestations of Guru Rinpoche).

Thimphu Tshechu one of the best festivals in Bhutan


  • Prayers for several days and nights to invoke the gods and spirits
  • Held in the courtyard of the imposing Tashichho Dzong monastery
  • Shawa Shachi or Dance of the Stags
  • Dance of the Terrifying Deities
  • Dance of the Lords of the Cremation Grounds.

When to visit

Depending on the lunar cycle, this festival is celebrated during the last week of September. If you want to observe thousands of people celebrating in the capital city of Thimphu, you should plan your trip between the last week of September and the first week of October in accordance with the lunar calendar.

2. Paro Tshechu:

One of Bhutan’s biggest and most popular sprint festivals, Paro Tshechu is a 5-day revelry held to mark the construction of Paro Dzong. The fortress is also the venue of the celebration held in respectful memory of Guru Rinpoche. Even witnessing his Thangka painting is said to cleanse people of their sins.

Paro Tshechu one of the best festivals in Bhutan


  • Monks and commoners wear masks and performed masked dances together
  • Dances depict the 8th manifestation of Guru Rinpoche
  • Unveiling of a Giant Thangka painting of the Guru Rinpoche on the last day.

When to visit

Traditionally, Paro Tshechu falls on the 10th day of the second Bhutanese lunar month. In the Gregorian calendar, the festival usually occurs on the third week of March. Therefore, it is best to book your trip between the last week of March and the first week of April.

3. Jambay Lhakhang Drup:

The fall festival takes place at one of Bhutan’s oldest and most sacred temples, Jambay Lhakhang, beside the Bumthang Chhu River. It is considered to be one of the most striking Bhutanese festivals.

Jambay Lhakhang Drup


  • Jambay Lhakhang: One of the 108 temples believed to have been built in a single day to defeat a demoness lying atop the Himalayas.
  • A 5-day celebration of the building of the 108 temples and the defeat of the demoness.
  • Tercham (Naked Dance): At midnight, 16 men dance around the temple naked to ward off evil spirits.
  • Mewang: The fire dance is believed to bless infertile women with children.

When to visit

The annual festival falls during late fall, approximately during the last week of October and early November. In order to observe this festival, you should plan to visit Bhutan during this time according to the lunar calendar.

4. Punakha Drubchen & Punakha Tshechu:

Another spring celebration, the Punakha Drubchen and Punakha Tshechu commemorates Bhutan’s victory over the invading Tibetan forces.

Punakha Drubchen & Punakha Tshechu


  • Theatrical staging depicting scenes from the 17th century battle with the Tibetan army.
  • The unfurling of a thangka featuring Guru Rinpoche to cleanse the sins of the onlookers.
  • The Punakha Dzong monastery hosts the celebrations

When to visit

To witness the masked dances and re-enactment of significant moments in Bhutanese military history, you must visit during the spring. The festival falls in the month of March, specifically, during the second week.

5. Wangdue Phodrang Tshechu:

A more recent festival, this Tshechu is the celebration of the building of the Wangdue Dzong fortress in 1639 AD. It is considered the biggest celebration of the Wangdue Phodrang district. The three-day fall festival used to be celebrated in the Dzong before it was burnt down in 2012. Today, locals and monks gather to celebrate in the Tencholing military ground.


  • Lozeys: performance of local songs and ornamental speeches
  • Raksha Mangcham: The Dance of the Ox, where masked dancers perform to ensure a peaceful afterlife.
  • Shaw Shachi: (Dance of the Stags, performed by masked monks and locals alike.
  • The unfurling of the giant Thangka painting depicting Guru Tshengye Thongdrol.

When to visit

This annual fall festival takes place in mid-September, specifically during the second week. As the dates may fluctuate according to the lunar cycle, we recommend you plan your trip around the second and third weeks of September.

Thinking of visiting Bhutan?
Our specialized Bhutan tours have fixed departure dates that make sure you get to witness as many beautiful festivals as possible!

6. Nomad Festival:

Held in Bumthang, the spring celebrations of Bhutanese Nomadic culture and lifestyle began in 2009. This festival introduces the traditions, practices, art, music, and lifestyle of Nomadic people from the Northeast and Northwestern side of the Himalayas. 

Nomad Festival one of the major festivals in Bhutan


  • The ceremonial royal procession of Chipdrel
  • Traditional games such as Soksum, Pungdo, Khuru, Dego are played
  • Participant highlanders from Laya and Sakteng sell local products
  • Indigenous culinary items such as Jagbuli, Khuli and Puta, Pin, and Ema Datshi 
  • Local artisans craft and showcase statues, vessels, and swords during the festival

When to visit

The Bhutanese Nomad festival is observed during the last week of February. If you want to be a part of the vibrant celebration of local diversity, you should visit Bhutan between the third week of February and the first week of March.

7. Haa Summer Festival:

People from all over Bhutan come together in order to highlight the beauty of summer. The celebrations showcase traditional living cultures of locals and Nomadic Bhutanese people while combining religion and lifestyle.


  • Brewing of local ara
  • Displays of traditional sports such as Archery
  • Religious masked dances and performances
  • Display of natural alpine flowers.

When to visit

The festival is observed in early July. To make sure you don’t miss it, we recommend you plan your trip between the first and second week of July. 

8. Black-Necked Crane Festival:

Dedicated to raising awareness on the endangered black necked crane, this festival revolves around the importance of wildlife conservation. Celebrated at the courtyard of the Gangtey Goenpa, it marks the arrival of these magnificent birds for the winter.

Black-Necked Crane Festival one of the most popular festivals in Bhutan


  • Folk songs and dances revolving around black-necked cranes
  • Masked dances and Crane dances performed by the locals
  • Conservation themed theatrical performances

When to visit

The celebration takes place during the second week of November. To witness the emigration of the great black-necked cranes, as well as the lively festival, you should plan your trip between the second and third week of November.

9. Mountain Echoes:

The first of its kind in Bhutan, what started as a literary festival, has grown into a celebration of a festival of a mix of different art forms. This four-day gathering sees authors, poets, performers, musicians, publishers, and filmmakers from all around the country gathered together to share and celebrate the diverse literary legacy of Bhutan.


  • The sharing and preserving of myths and folklore of the ancient kingdom
  • Sharing and discussion on more contemporary genres of storytelling
  • Presentation of films and theatrical performances by young Bhutanese storytellers

When to visit

The festival is held during the early fall months (August/September). To be a part of the incredible storytelling festival, make sure you visit between late August and early September.

10. Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival:

This unique festival is in honor of the fourth King of Bhutan His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The winter festivals also celebrate the continuous efforts of the Royal Bhutan Army in protecting the sovereignty of the Himalayan kingdom.


  • Cultural programs to mark the birth of king Wangchuck
  • Folk and Mask dances performed entirely by the Military.

When to visit

The spring festival is observed during the last week of February. To observe the dignified processions and military displays, we recommend you time your visit between the third week of February and the first week of March.

Trips are customizable with Himalayan Glacier! Just tell us your personal preferences and we’ll make sure your Bhutan Tour is a special one!

Exploring a country so rich in natural beauty and strong in culture and spirituality has been made easier by our Bhutan festival tours! But if you have any queries about Bhutan’s must-attend festivities, simply message us on Facebook or WhatsApp us at 1-860-593-1567. Our travel experts will be happy to help you! 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the most popular places to visit in Bhutan?

The last Shangri-La and the hidden Himalayan kingdom is full of majestic fortresses, monasteries, and natural beauty. When exploring the land of the Thunder Dragon through our extraordinary Bhutan tour, you will see the best and most vibrant side of the country. The tour will take you through incredible cultural experiences and show you the hidden natural beauty of Bhutanese forests. Some of the most popular places to visit in Bhutan are Thimphu (the capital), Punakha, Trongsa, Wangdue Phodrang, and Paro towns which are home to various historic temples, fortresses, and festivals. 

2. Do I need to use a tour operator to book my Bhutan trip?

Bhutan’s tourism sector is closely monitored by the government. It is mandatory for all foreign tourists, with an exception to nationals of India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives, to book their tours through a tour operator. In simple words, travelers cannot simply book their flights to Bhutan and travel around on their own.

On booking a guided package tour through an agent, your visa, hotel, transportation, guide, driver, etc will be arranged. Your visa will be given to your operator on full payment of the trip package cost. In a nutshell, you cannot travel to Bhutan independently and it is obligatory that you book your holiday with a registered tour operator.

3. When is the best time to visit Bhutan?

The weather of Bhutan fluctuates radically depending on the elevation. The spring season during the months between March and May is perhaps the best time to visit Bhutan. Although these months can be wet, the valley becomes lively with wildflowers out and birds humming various tones. Plus, it makes for an incredible hike in the tranquil trails of Bhutan’s distant locations.

The fall season during the months between October and December is also an ideal time to visit Bhutan. Unlike the spring season, these months are less wet and the skies are clear, the air is fresh and perfect for hiking in Bhutan’s solitary trails. Snowfalls may be witnessed at higher elevations during fall. Winter months of December and January are every photographer’s fantasy with thick blankets of snow, but it gets colder.  The monsoon season during the months between June and August is really wet and not suitable for traveling in Bhutan, so it is best if avoided.

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