Upcoming Events

  • URA YAKCHOE, Ura Lhakhang, Bumthang, 30th April-4th May
  • NIMALUNG TSHECHU, Nimalung Dratshang,chummy, Bumthang, 24th-26th June
  • KURJEY TSHECHU, Kurjey Lhakhang,Choekhor,Bumthang, 6th June
  • TOUR OF THE DRAGON (BICYCLE RACE), Bumthang to Thimphu, 5th September
  • THIMPHU DRUBCHEN, Tashi choedzong,Thimphu, 18th -22nd September
  • WANGDUE TSHECHU, Tencholing Army Ground, Wangduephodrang, 21st -23rd September
  • TAMSHING PHALA CHHOEPA, Tamshing Lhakhang, Chhoekhor, Bumthang, 22nd -24th September
  • THIMPHU TSHECHU, Tashi chhodzong,Thimphu, 23rd -25th September
  • PEMAGATSHEL TSHECHU, Pemagatshel Dzong,Pemagatshel, 20th – 23rd October
  • CHHUKHA TSHECHU, Chhukha Dzong,Chhukha, 21st -23rd October
  • THANGBI MANI, Thangbi Lhakhang,Choekor,Bumthang, 27th – 29th October
  • JAMBAY LHAKHANG DRUP, Jambay Lhakhang,Chorkhor,Bumthang, 27th -31st October
  • PRAKHAR DUCHHOED, Prakar Lhakhang,Chummi,Bumthang, 28th -30th October
  • BLACK NECKED CRANE FESTIVAL, Gangtey Gonpa,Phobjikha,Wangduephodrang, 11th November
  • MONGER TSHECHU, Monger Dzong,Monger, 18th -21st November
  • TRASHIGANG TSHECHU, Trashigang Dzong,Trashigang, 19th -22nd November
  • NALAKHAR TSHECHU, Ngaa Lhakhang,choekhor,Bumthang, 25th -27th November
  • DRUK WANGYEL TSHECHU, Dochula,Thimphu, 13th December
  • TRONGSA TSHECHU, Trongsa Dzong,Trongsa, 20th -22nd December
  • LHUENTSE TSHECHU, Lhuentse Dzong,Lhuentse, 20th -22nd December
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Thimphu Tshechu

Thimphu TshechuOne of the biggest festivals in the country is the Thimphu Tshechu. This festival is held in the capital city for three days beginning on 10th day of the 8th month of lunar calendar. This Tshechu is witnessed by thousands of people many of which travel from neighboring Dzongkhags (districts) to attend the festivities. The actual Tshechu is preceded by days and nights of prayer and rituals to invoke the gods.

When it was initiated by the 4th Desi, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay in 1867 the Tshechu consisted of only a few dances being performed strictly by monks. These were the Zhana chham and the Zhana Nga chham (Dances of the 21 Black Hats), Durdag (Dance of the Lords of the Cremation Ground), and the Tungam chham (Dance of the Terrifying Deities).

The Thimphu Tshechu underwent a change in the 1950s, when the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, introduced numerous Boed chhams (mask dances performed by lay monks). These additions added colour and variation to the festival without compromising its spiritual significance. Mask dances like the Guru Tshengye (Eight Manifestations of Guru), Shaw Shachi (Dance of the Stags) are enjoyed because they are similar to stage-theater.

Equally important are the Atsaras, who are more than just mere clowns. The Atsaras are the dupthobs (acharyas), who provide protection. The dances and the jesting of the Atsaras are believed to entrance evil forces and prevent them from causing harm during Tshechus. Modern Atsaras also perform short skits to disseminate health and social awareness messages.

To farmers, the Tshechu is also seen as a break from farm life. It’s an occasion to celebrate, receive blessings and pray for health and happiness.

Thimphu Dromchoe

Besides the annual three day Tshechu, Thimphu also celebrates a one day festival known as the Thimphu Dromchoe. The day long festival dates back to the 17th century. It was first introduced by Kuenga Gyeltshen in 1710, who was recognized as the reincarnation of Jampel Dorji, son of Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel. The dromchoe is celebrated 3 days prior to the Thimphu Tshechu.

The Dromchoe showcases the sacred dances dedicated to the chief protective deity of Bhutan, Palden Lhamo. Legend has it, that the deity Pelden Lhamo appeared before Kuenga Gyeltshen and performed the dances while he was in meditation. Based on these dances, Kuenga Gyaltshen initiated the Dromchoe.