Events and Festivals in Bhutan

Although various songs and music that are traditionally popular in the country bears a limited source of its origin, the masked dances have been inspired by great masters and saints whose names are revered by people of the country.  Mostly performed to subdue demons and evil spirits that haunted places where people lived, it was then restored to dances by outstanding Buddhist saints in the later times. They are believed to be rare and powerful form of magical and tantric arts.

The origin of religious dances can be traced back as early as the 8th century AD when Guru Rinpochoe, a great Buddhist teacher, who visited Bhutan, used these tantric and magical dances to subdue evil spirits and demons. He chased and eliminated demons while building the Samye Monastery who prevented construction back in Tibet.

The mask dances performed today, during Tsechu festivals, are but those magical dances, enriched later by Buddhist masters to give visual aspects of religious teachings and help simple people to know and understand them. It was only during the 17th century when the country was unified under Drukpa Ka-gyu that the dances were inventoried and classified. These dances are believed to ensure well-being and happiness of all living beings. This is why they still survive in most festivals.

Punakha Dromche – February 18 to 22

Punakha Tshechu – February 23 to 25

Chorten Kora – February 28 to March 15

Tharpaling Thongdrol – February 28

Tangsibi Mani (Ura, Bumthang) – February 27 to March 3

Bulli Mani (Chummi) – March 1 to 3

Gaden Chodpa (Ura, Bumthang) – March 13 to 15

Gomkora – March 23 to 25

Paro Tshechu – March 26 to 30

Chhukha Tshechu - March 28 to 30

Domkhar Tshechu – April 23 to 25

Ura Yakchoe – April 24 to 28

Padsel-Ling Kuchod – June 2 to 3

Nimalung Tshechu – June 19 to 21

Kurjey Tshechu – June 21

Thimphu Drupchen – September 12 to 16

Wangdi Tshechu – September 15 to 17

Tamshingphala Choepa – September 16 to 18

Thimphu Tshechu – September 17 to 19

Tangbi Mani – September 22 to 24

Shingkhar Rabney (Ura, Bumthang) – October 13 to 17

Jakar Dzong Tshechu – October 15 to 18

Jambay Lhakhang Drup – October 22 to 26

Prakhar Duchhoed – October 23 to 26

Sumdrang Kangsol (Ura, Bumthang) – November 2 to 6

Mongar Tshechu – November 13 to 16

Pemagatshel Tshechu – November 13 to 16

Trashigang Tshechu – November 14 to 17

Tang Namkha Rabney – November 15 to 16

Jambay Lhakhang Singye Cham – November 21

Nalakhar Tshechu – November 21 to 23

Chojam Rabney (Tang, Geog) – November 20 to 24

Trongsa Tshechu – December 15 to 17

Lhuntse Tshechu – December 15 to 17

Shingkhar Metochodpa (Ura, Bumthang) – December 21

Nabji Lhakhang Drup – December 21 to 25

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