Festival

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In addition to the standard Buddhist festivals, there are yearly festivals celebrated with great fanfare in each district. The most renowned of these are the Tsechu (10th day) festivals, commemorating Padmasambhava, locally referred to as ‘Guru Rimpoche’ this eighth century master, introduced the Nyingma school of Buddhism in Bhutan. Most festivals last from three to five days – one of which, usually, falls on the 10th day of the lunar calendar.


Tshechu is a religious festival meaning “tenth day” held annually in various temples, monasteries and dzongs throughout the country.

The Tshechu is a religious event celebrated on tenth day of a month of the lunar calendar corresponding to the birthday of Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padmasambhava). However the exact month of the Tshechu varies from place to place and temple to temple.

Tshechus are grand events where entire communities come together to witness religious mask dances, receive blessings and socialize. . In addition to the mask dances tshechus also include  colorful Bhutanese dances and other forms of entertainment.

It is believed that everyone must attend a Tshechu and witness the mask dances at least once to in order to receive blessings and wash away their sins. Every mask dance performed during a Tshechu has a special meaning or a story behind it and many are based on stories and incidents from as long ago as the 8th century, during the life of Guru Padmasambhava. In monasteries the mask dances are performed by monks and in remote villages they are performed jointly by monks and village men.

Two of the most popular Tshechus in the country are the Paro and Thimphu Tshechus in terms of participation and audience. Besides the locals many tourists from across the world are attracted to these unique, colorful and exciting displays of traditional culture.

Mashitaki Festivals.

Celebrate the start of the wild Matsutake mushroom season at the Masutake Festival alongside the people of the mystical Ura Valley. Ura is renowned for being one of the most picturesque valleys in the entire kingdom. Its inhabitants, the Uraps are a cheerful, hospitable people. Ura provides one of the most authentic experiences of traditional rural Bhutanese life available.

At the festival, visitors will learn to identify these fabled mushrooms as they embark on mushroom picking excursions around the pristine forests and hills. Prized by gourmets in Japan, this fungi is native to the forests of Ura valley in central Bhutan. Sample delicious Matsutake recipes, engage in songs and dances together with the locals, hike through the stunning Himalayan landscape and even relax in traditional open-air mineral baths.

 Mashitaki

Mushroom festival

 

Jomolhari Mountain Festivals.

Jomolhari Mountain Festival

Jomolhari Mountain Festival & Trek combines the Jomolhari Trek with an exquisitely themed two-day event celebrated at the base of Mt. Jomolhari by communities located along one of the most scenic trekking routes in Bhutan. The festival celebrates the unique culture of the communities living together with the natural wonders that surround them: one in particular, the elusive, yet elegant, snow leopard!

The festival includes snow leopard themed folk songs and dances performed by the local people, Jigme Dorji National Park staff and the school children, traditional sports such as Khuru (darts), shot put, horse and yak riding, sampling of local delicacies and boutique handicrafts.

This is the ultimate Jumolhari Mountain experience of trekking through inspiring mountainous landscapes and gaining an insight into the unique communities that inhabit these beautiful locations. This unique festival takes place in Changangkha Lhakhang, the oldest temple in Thimphu. Built in 12th century, it is located on a ridge above central Thimphu, with a picturesque view west all the way along the vast Thimphu valley. It is a popular temple attracting a regular procession of pilgrims, and new parents seeking auspicious names for their newborns or blessings for their young children.

 

Changgangkha Lhakang Festivals

 Changgangkha Lhakang Festivals

More intimate than the popular Thimphu Tsechu, this festival is an annual ritual which begins with an appraisal to the local deity “Domsap” followed by masked dances and traditional forms of Bhutanese dance and entertainment. It is believed that everyone must attend a Tshechu and witness the mask dances at least once to in order to receive blessings and wash away their sins. Every mask dance performed during a Tshechu has a special meaning or a story behind it and are performed by Changangkha lama’s.

This festival takes place at approximately the same time as the more popular events in Bumthang. This one is ideal for this with limited time who cannot travel into the central valleys, yet would like to witness this unique expression of Bhutanese history and culture.

 

BHUTAN CYCLING TOUR

 BHUTAN CYCLING TOUR

Bhutan’s mountainous terrain offers a fascinating adventure for cycling enthusiasts. The roads wind up and down mountains with exhilarating drops of thousands of metres, and of course the challenge of surmounting equally high passes of over 3000 metres. The route is accompanied by mixed forests, pasturelands, rich meadows and valleys dotted with medieval villages and towns rich in culture. This tour allows time for visiting the highlights of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Trongsa and Bumthang. You can choose from easy to adventurous trails, and will be backed up by professional support staff at all times. Bhutan Travel Bureau will co-ordinate your entire trip including arranging quality mountain bicycles for your riding pleasure unless you choose to bring your own bike.