The Bhutanese people are highly festive as they strongly believe in their age-old customs and traditions. The festivals bring smile on their faces. The Bhutanese celebrate their festivals with huge pomp and show. They dance, sing and eat, and follow customs which are inextricably associated with these festivals. Watching them perform these festivals is a delightful and intriguing sight.
Dromche (festival) generally includes dances and this festival is dedicated to Yeshe Gompo (Mahakala) or Palden Lhamo, the two main protective deities of Drukpas (Drukpas = means people of Druk land or Bhutanese). Punakha Dromche take place in the first month of the lunar year and ends with 'Serda', a magnificent procession which re-enacts an episode of the war against the Tibetan in the 17th century.
Jambay Lhakhang Drup
The festival is held for duel reasons; to commemorate an establishment of Jambay Lhakhang (temple) in 7 th century and to honor Guru Rimpoche, a saint who introduced Tantric form of Buddhism in Bhutan . A variety of traditional and mask dances are performed and each dance bear significant meaning/importance.
This festival is one of the most important in Bhutan and its high light is the 'Mewang" - the fire ceremony and the " Tercham" - a religious dance. A fire dance is held in the evening to bless infertile women so that they may bear children.
There is a sequence of dances at Paro Tshechu. Most dances are the same at others Tshechus, but the sequence varies. On day one is Shinje Yab Yum, dance of the lord of death and his consort. The costume is of buffalo mask and long brocade dress. The day two begins with "chipdrel" traditional reception. The Astara (clown) welcomes the audience with the marchang ceremony. The the mask dances begin
Thimpu festival is the festival of dances. Some of these dances are shacham or the dance of the four stag, pelage gingsum or the dance of the three kinds of ging, pacham or the dance of the heroes, shawo shachi or dance of the stags and the hounds, dranyeo cham or dance with guitar, shana or black dance, shaa nga cham or dance of the 21 black hats with drum and, pholeg moleg or dance of the noblemen and the ladies.
Tshechu is festival honouring Guru Padsambhava - 'one who was born from lotus flower'. This Indian saint contributed enormously to the diffusion of Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan etc. around 800 A.D. He is the founder of the Nyingmapa, the 'old school' of Lamaism which still has numerous followers.
TENTATIVE FESTIVAL DATES FOR 2010
Sl. No FESTIVAL PLACE DATES 1 PUNAKHA DROMCHE Punakha Dzong; PUNAKHA 2 PUNAKHA TSHECHU Punakha Dzong; PUNAKHA 3 CHORTEN KORA Chorten Kora; TRASHIYANGTSE 4 THARPALING THONGDROL Tharpaling Lhakhang, Chummi, BUMTHANG 5 TANGSIBI MANI (URA) Tangsibi Lhakhang, Ura, BUMTHANG 6 BULLI MANI (CHUMMI) Buli Lhakhang, Chummi, BUMTHANG 7 GADEN CHODPA (URA) Gaden Lhakhang, Ura, BUMTHANG 8 GOMKORA Gom Kora Lhakhang; TRASHIGANG 9 PARO TSHECHU Rinpung Dzong; PARO 10 CHUKHA TSHECHU CHUKHA 11 DOMKHAR TSHECHU Domkhar, Chummi, BUMTHANG 12 URA YAKCHOE Ura Lhakhang; BUMTHANG 13 PADSEL-LING KUCHOD Padsel-ling Gonpa, Choekhor, BUMTHANG 14 NIMALUNG TSHECHU Nimalung Dratshang, Chummi, BUMTHANG 15 KURJEY TSHECHU Kurjey Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG 16 THIMPHU DRUBCHEN Tashi Chhodzong, THIMPHU 17 WANGDI TSHECHU Wangdi Dzong, WANGDUE PHODRANG 18 TAMSHINGPHALA CHOEPA Tamshing Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG 19 THIMPHU TSHECHU TaashiChhodzong, THIMPHU 20 TANGBI MANI Tangbi Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG 21 SHINGKHAR RABNEY (URA) Shingkhar Lhakhang, Ura, BUMTHANG 22 JAKAR TSECHU Jakar Dzong, Choekhor, BUMTHANG 23 JAMBAY LHAKHANG DRUP Jambay Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG 24 PRAKHAR DUCHHOED Prakar Lhakhang, Chummi, BUMTHANG 25 SUMDRANG KANGSOL(URA) Sumdrang Lhakhang, Ura, BUMTHANG 26 CRANE FESTIVAL PHOBJI KHA; WANGDUE PHODRANG 27 MONGAR TSHECHU Mongar Dzong, MONGAR 28 PEMAGATSHEL TSHECHU Pemagatshel Dzong, PEMAGATSHEL 29 TRASHIGANG TSHECHU Trashigang Dzong, TRASHIGANG 30 TANG NAMKHA RABNEY (TANG) Tang Namkha Lhakhang, BUMTHANG 31 JAMBAY LAHKHANG SINGYE CHAM Jambay Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG 32 NALAKHAR TSHECHU (Zhey) Ngaa Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG
33 CHOJAM RABNEY (TANG) Chojamrab Lhakhang, Tang, BUMTHANG 34 TRONGSA TSHECHU
Trongsa Dzong, TRONGSA 35 LHUNTSE TSHECHU Lhuntse Dzong, LHUNTSE
36 SHINGKHAR METOCHODPA (URA) Shingkhar Lhakhang, Ura, BUMTHANG 37 NABJI LHAKHANG DRUP Nabji Lhakhang, Nabji, TRONGSA
Note: Please verify dates with us before confirming your tour to combine any of above specified festivals. The festival dates vary according to our lunar calendar.