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Types of Festivals

Ura Yakchoe

Ura valley in Bumthang is known for its famous dance known as the Ura Yakchoe. This festival that is held annually in the month of May is a festival where a sacred and an important relic is put on display for the people to receive blessings.  Myth has it that one day an old woman whilesitting outside her house had a visitor, a lama who asked her for a glass of water. When she came out with a glass of water, the lama had vanished leaving behind a sack. Out of curiosity, she checked the bag and found a statue that is now being displayed annually. This relic has been passed on from generation to generation and now it’s owned by the descendants of the woman.

Annual Blacked Necked Crane Festival

CranesThe Annual Black-necked Crane festival will be celebrated in the courtyard of Gangtey Gonpa, in Phobjikha valley on 11thNovember 2011. The festival is an occasion for the locals to rejoice and celebrate the arrival of the heavenly bird which becomes part and parcel of their daily lives during the winter months. However the annual black-necked crane festival is organized with the following objectives:
• Generate awareness and understanding among the local communities and visitors on the importance of conserving the endangered Black‐necked cranes
• Institute economic incentives (payment) for the festival to strengthen the linkages between conservation and economic welfare and sustainable livelihoods
• Provide avenue for the local community to renew their commitment to conservation of the black-necked cranes, and to showcase their cultural heritage and skills.
The festival generally includes cultural programs such as folk songs and dances (some with black-necked crane themes) and mask dances performed by the local people, crane dance and environmental related drama and songs by the school children.  The program usually starts by 9:30 am and lasts till late afternoon.
The festival will be organized by Phobjikha Environment Management Committee (PEMC), a local group composed of elected local leaders, women, Government representatives, business community representatives, monks and RSPN representative.  The festival was first initiated by RSPN in 1998, and it has now become a part of the local culture in Phobjikha valley.
The organizers would like to welcome everyone to experience the festival, visit the Gangtey Gonpa and see the beautiful black-necked cranes. Be a part of the festival and reward the community for their continued conservation stewardship.
Background
Nestled in the inner Himalayas of the Kingdom of Bhutan at about 3000 metres above sea level, is the wide alpine wetland valley of Phobjikha. The wetland is considered the largest and the most significant wetland in the country. Often cited for the harmonious co‐existence of its inhabitants with nature, the valley is also culturally significant. Since time immemorial, the local people’s tradition and respect for sentient beings have ushered the valley into the most significant wintering ground of the rare and endangered Black‐necked cranes in Bhutan. Every year, over 300 of the estimated 500 cranes that migrate to Bhutan spend their winter months in this valley. Additionally, the highly revered Gangtey Monastery that overlooks the wetlands surrounded by subsistence farms and natural forest areas makes Phobjikha a stunningly beautiful and sacred valley. Today, this supposedly glacial valley is an attraction not just to tourists but also pilgrims.
Besides being the home to the cranes, Phobjikha is also the livelihood base for about 5000 subsistence farmers who have aspirations for economic development. Since the early 1990s, the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN), Bhutan’s only environmental NGO envisaged that unguided pursuit of the local community for economic development could not only severely undermine the ecological significance of the area but also adversely affect the local livelihoods.
Hence, RSPN initiated the integrated conservation and development program with the sole objective of establishing a strong linkage between environment conservation and economic welfare of the local people. Amongst many other components, Ecotourism (now Community based-sustainable tourism) was initiated to promote local economic welfare through nature based tourism programs. The Annual Black-necked Crane festival is one integral part of the ecotourism component.
The Annual Black-necked Crane Festival
The festival is now being organized and managed by the Phobjikha Environment Management Committee (PEMC), a local community group composed of elected leaders and development sector representatives in the valley. The committee secures the cooperation and support of the local people and the schools in presenting a variety of cultural programmes including traditional masked and folk dances. The most amusing and entertaining part of the show that attracts the attention of the audience is the crane dance in which the school children enact the social behavior of cranes in the valley.
The success of the festival and its continuity depends entirely on the support and contributions of the visitors and well wishers of conservation. Continued appreciation and corresponding support are quintessential in maintaining strong linkages between conservation and economic welfare of the local people. Be a part of the festival and reward the community for continued conservation stewardship. Funds mobilized through this Black-necked crane festival and other activities of the committee are deposited in a community owned bank account and managed by the committee for activities of common benefit to the community.
Programmes
Generally the Programme for the BNC festival include cultural programs such as folk and masked dances performed by the local people, crane dance and environmental related drama and songs by the school students.  The program usually starts by 9:30 am and lasts till 3/4pm.
Depending on the time availability, the following additional programs can also be tailor-made to fit the needs of the concerned Tour agent or an individual up to two days.
1. Visit the Black necked crane information center
2. Visit Gangtey Monastery
3. Gangtey Nature trail hiking (enroute Traditional tea reception and lunch can be arranged at local farm houses)
4. Visit the Khewang Lhakang at the centre of the valley
5. Village walk in Lawog valley (tea at Kingathang)

Haa Summer Festival

This festival offers a lively and uplifting combination of traditional living culture, nomadic lifestyle, demonstration of Bhutanese cuisines, processing of local Ara (drink), traditional sports, religious performance, dances, songs, artifacts, and natural alpine flowers. You can also stay the night at one of the many farm houses and enjoy the hospitality of the local people. The other highlights of the Festival are Photography Competition and Mountain Bike Race.

Chorten Kora Festival

chorten koraThe Annual Black-necked Crane festival will be celebrated in the courtyard of Gangtey Gonpa, in Phobjikha valley on 11thNovember 2011. The festival is an occasion for the locals to rejoice and celebrate the arrival of the heavenly bird which becomes part and parcel of their daily lives during the winter months. However the annual black-necked crane festival is organized with the following objectives:
  • Generate awareness and understanding among the local communities and visitors on the importance of conserving the endangered Black‐necked cranes
  • Institute economic incentives (payment) for the festival to strengthen the linkages between conservation and economic welfare and sustainable livelihoods
  • Provide avenue for the local community to renew their commitment to conservation of the black-necked cranes, and to showcase their cultural heritage and skills.
The festival generally includes cultural programs such as folk songs and dances (some with black-necked crane themes) and mask dances performed by the local people, crane dance and environmental related drama and songs by the school children.  The program usually starts by 9:30 am and lasts till late afternoon.
The festival will be organized by Phobjikha Environment Management Committee (PEMC), a local group composed of elected local leaders, women, Government representatives, business community representatives, monks and RSPN representative.  The festival was first initiated by RSPN in 1998, and it has now become a part of the local culture in Phobjikha valley.
The organizers would like to welcome everyone to experience the festival, visit the Gangtey Gonpa and see the beautiful black-necked cranes. Be a part of the festival and reward the community for their continued conservation stewardship.
Background
Nestled in the inner Himalayas of the Kingdom of Bhutan at about 3000 metres above sea level, is the wide alpine wetland valley of Phobjikha. The wetland is considered the largest and the most significant wetland in the country. Often cited for the harmonious co‐existence of its inhabitants with nature, the valley is also culturally significant. Since time immemorial, the local people’s tradition and respect for sentient beings have ushered the valley into the most significant wintering ground of the rare and endangered Black‐necked cranes in Bhutan. Every year, over 300 of the estimated 500 cranes that migrate to Bhutan spend their winter months in this valley. Additionally, the highly revered Gangtey Monastery that overlooks the wetlands surrounded by subsistence farms and natural forest areas makes Phobjikha a stunningly beautiful and sacred valley. Today, this supposedly glacial valley is an attraction not just to tourists but also pilgrims.
Besides being the home to the cranes, Phobjikha is also the livelihood base for about 5000 subsistence farmers who have aspirations for economic development. Since the early 1990s, the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN), Bhutan’s only environmental NGO envisaged that unguided pursuit of the local community for economic development could not only severely undermine the ecological significance of the area but also adversely affect the local livelihoods.
Hence, RSPN initiated the integrated conservation and development program with the sole objective of establishing a strong linkage between environment conservation and economic welfare of the local people. Amongst many other components, Ecotourism (now Community based-sustainable tourism) was initiated to promote local economic welfare through nature based tourism programs. The Annual Black-necked Crane festival is one integral part of the ecotourism component.
The Annual Black-necked Crane Festival
The festival is now being organized and managed by the Phobjikha Environment Management Committee (PEMC), a local community group composed of elected leaders and development sector representatives in the valley. The committee secures the cooperation and support of the local people and the schools in presenting a variety of cultural programmes including traditional masked and folk dances. The most amusing and entertaining part of the show that attracts the attention of the audience is the crane dance in which the school children enact the social behavior of cranes in the valley.
The success of the festival and its continuity depends entirely on the support and contributions of the visitors and well wishers of conservation. Continued appreciation and corresponding support are quintessential in maintaining strong linkages between conservation and economic welfare of the local people. Be a part of the festival and reward the community for continued conservation stewardship. Funds mobilized through this Black-necked crane festival and other activities of the committee are deposited in a community owned bank account and managed by the committee for activities of common benefit to the community.
Programmes
Generally the Programme for the BNC festival include cultural programs such as folk and masked dances performed by the local people, crane dance and environmental related drama and songs by the school students.  The program usually starts by 9:30 am and lasts till 3/4pm.
Depending on the time availability, the following additional programs can also be tailor-made to fit the needs of the concerned Tour agent or an individual up to two days.
1. Visit the Black necked crane information center
2. Visit Gangtey Monastery
3. Gangtey Nature trail hiking (enroute Traditional tea reception and lunch can be arranged at local farm houses)
4. Visit the Khewang Lhakang at the centre of the valley
5. Village walk in Lawog valley (tea at Kingathang)

Matsutake Festival

Festival Background
Celebrate alongside the people of Ura as yet another mushroom season begins, bringing with it the opportunity not only to sample some truly delicious meals but to cultivate a deeper insight into the rhythms of Bhutanese village life. Learn to identify and harvest the fabled wild Matsutake matsutakemushrooms of Bhutan. Prized by gourmets in Japan, this fungi is native to the forests of Ura valley in central Bhutan.  Hike the valley’s fragrant trails and give in to the thrill of discovering your own private patch of this most coveted of mushrooms. And if you are tired of the traditional mushroom hunt, head over to the region’s exquisite temples and monasteries which rank among the most prized treasures of Bhutan.matsutake
Things to do and see
Matsutake Festival gives the cheerful Uraps a reason to celebrate and have some fun with the festival spanning two days during 4th week of August ( August 24 to 25). After an exciting day of picking mushrooms with the people of Ura, learn about their art and crafts, their traditional lifestyle, folk songs and dances, regional food and drink. Participate in the song and dance, glitter and gaiety as the villagers gather in the festival arena, in full costume. Sample freshly gathered mushrooms; try some wild honey or high altitude medicinal herbs and potions, along with other local dishes of wheat and barley. Shop for textiles, cane, bamboo and other regional products. Take a step back in time and stay in a charming traditional home and experience the welcome of some of the world’s most hospitable people. For a truly relaxing night, try one of the open air hot mineral baths in a traditional tub.

Paro Tsechu

The Paro tsechu in spring is a major attraction in Paro district. People come from neighbouring districts to participate in the festivity. On the final day, the best time to go is early in the morning as the monks of the Paro Dzong prepare to display a giant appliqué thangkha, the Guru Throngdel, inside the dzong.

Day 1: (Inside the dzong)
Dance of the Lord of Death and his Consort (Shinje Yab Yum)

Bodhisattva Manjusri – representing the wisdom of all Buddhas – takes on the appearance of the terrifying Lord of Death (Shinje). His wrathful buffalo face guards the four continents.

Dance of the Lords of the Cremation Grounds (Durdag)
A dance that takes place in cremation grounds. The dancers wear skull masks and represent protectors of the religion who live in the eight cremation grounds on the periphery of the symbolic Mt. Sumeru.

The Black Hat Dance (Shanag)
The black hat dancers assume the role of yogis with the power to subdue and create life. The dancers wear brocade robes, wide brimmed black hats and aprons with the face of a protective deity. This is an important dance that is also used in purification ceremonies during the construction of dzongs, temples, chortens.

Dance of the Drum from Dramitse (Dramitse Ngacham)
A dance inspired in meditation. The dance is a vision of Guru Rinpoche and his celestial palace, Zangdopelri. Here, Guru’s attendants are transformed into hundreds of peaceful and terrifying deities. The dance originated in Dramitse Monastery in eastern Bhutan and is considered a Bhutanese heritage.

Dance of the Eight Kinds of Spirits (Degye)
A dance of the gods of the three worlds (sky, earth, underground). The gods protect the doctrines of the Buddha and subdue the spirits who make the world unhappy. Endless happiness is recovered. The dance is performed by the gods (believed to be incarnated in the dancers themselves) to renew faith and wisdom.

Religious song (Chhoeshay)
This commemorates the opening of the gateway to the pilgrimage site of Tsari in eastern Tibet by the founder of the Drukpa School of Buddhism, Tsangpa Jarey.

Day 2: (Outside the dzong)
Dance of the Lord of Death and his Consort (Shinje Yab Yum)
Bodhisattva Manjusri – representing the wisdom of all Buddhas – takes on the appearance of the terrifying Lord of Death (Shinje). His wrathful buffalo face guards the four continents.

Dance of the Black Hats with drums (Shanag Nga Cham)
A dance to signify the victory of religion over enemies. The sound of the drum represents religion itself.

Dance of the Three Kinds of Ging with sticks (Gingsum)
A dance signifying the subjugation of demons that are obstacles to religions. It takes place in Zangtopelri, the heavenly palace of Guru Rinpoche.

Dance of the Lords of the Cremation Grounds (Durdag)
A dance that takes place in cremation grounds. The dancers wear skull masks and represent protectors of the religion who live in the eight cremation grounds on the periphery of the symbolic Mt. Sumeru.

Dance of the Three Kinds of Ging with drums (Driging)
After the demons are vanquished, the gings with the drums dance with happiness. They beat the drums of religion and the dance is performed to bring good luck to all beings and to wish them happiness. This dance brings blessings to all who watch it.

Dance of the Stag and the Hounds (Shawa Shachi) – 1st part
The dance tells a favourite tale of Milerepa who converts a hunter to Buddhism.

Day 3: Dance of the Lords of the Cremation Grounds (Durdag)
A dance that takes place in cremation grounds. The dancers wear skull masks and represent protectors of the religion who live in the eight cremation grounds on the periphery of the symbolic Mt. Sumeru.

Dance of the Terrifying Deities (Tungam)
Dressed in beautiful brocade and terrifying masks, this is a deeply symbolic dance where a sacrificial murder is performed. Guru Rinpoche appears in a wrathful manifestation to save the world. The dance is meant to show all beings the way to salvation.

Dance of the Heroes with six kinds of ornaments (Guan Drug Pawo)
The heroes hold six ornaments – five rings of bone ornaments and a small drum and bell in their hands. By their gestures and the sound of their melodies, the heroes lead sentient beings from the wheel of reincarnation along the path of liberation.

Kyecham is an accompanying dance to the next dance. The kyecham dancers wear knee-length yellow skirts, and animal masks.

Dance of the Noblemen and Ladies (Pholeg Moleg)
A comical play that depicts the life of King Norzang. The play is full of bawdy and rustic humour as two princes and two princesses, and old couple and clowns enact a story of misbehaviour, deceit, and mistrust. The story ends happily with the princes marrying the princesses and reconciliation takes place as a lesson to life.

Dance of the Stag and the Hounds – 2nd part
This is a conclusion of the dance began on the second day. The saint Milarepa appears in a long white dress and converts the dogs, stag and the hunter with a song. The conversion is symbolised by the hunter and his dogs jumping a rope.

Day 4: Dance of the Lord of Death and his Consort (Shinje Yab Yum)
Bodhisattva Manjusri – representing the wisdom of all Buddhas – takes on the appearance of the terrifying Lord of Death (Shinje). His wrathful buffalo face guards the four continents.

Dance of the Four Stags (Sha Tsam)
A dance that depicts Guru Rinpoche subduing the God of Wind who is believed to have created unhappiness on earth. Dancers dress as stags in yellow knee length dress and masks of the deer. The stag represents the mount of the God.

Dance of the Judgement of the Dead (Raksha Mangcham)
This dance is based on the Bardo (Book of the Dead). When beings die they wander in an intermediate state known as the bardo. They cross the bardo to meet their judgement by the Lord of Death. Also present is the white god and black demon who have been with every being from birth. The dance is like a play which depicts the judgement of a sinner and a virtuous man who goes to heaven.  The rakshas are the helpers of the Lord of Death.

Dance of the Drums from Dramitse (Dramitse Nga Cham)
A dance inspired in meditation. The dance is a vision of Guru Rinpoche and his celestial palace, Zangdopelri. Here, Guru’s attendants are transformed into hundreds of peaceful and terrifying deities. The dance originated in Dramitse Monastery in eastern Bhutan and is considered a Bhutanese heritage.

Day 5: The great thangkha (thongdrel) is shown early in the morning followed by the Shugdrel ceremony.

Dance of the Heroes (Pacham)
A dance to lead believers in the human world into the presence of Guru Rinpoche.

Dance of the Ging and Tsholing
Guru Rinpoche initiated this dance during the consecration of the ancient Samye Monastery in Tibet. The dance is a purification ceremony. People whistle to chase away bad spirits. The ging, dressed in orange skirts and a terrifying mask, use their drumsticks to hit everyone on the head to drive out impurity. The tsoling represent protectors of the religion and are dressed in long colourful dresses and terrifying masks.

Dance of the Eight Manifestations of Guru Rinpoche (Guru Tshen Gye)
This dance is one of the highlights for Buddhist practitioners. The Guru appears in eight different forms in a dance that is also a play.

Dance of the Sixteen Fairies
After all eight manifestations appear, 16 fairies sing and perform two dances in front of the Guru. The fairies are Goddesses of Offerings who perform a dance to bring happiness. They are dressed in brocade dresses with carved bone ornaments. After these final songs, the manifestations go out in a long procession.

Religious Song (Chhoeshay)
This commemorates the opening of the gateway to the pilgrimage site of Tsari in eastern Tibet by the founder of the Drukpa School of Buddhism, Tsangpa Jarey.

Punakha Tsechu

Punakha is located in the western part of Bhutan and it is the winter home of Chief Abbot of Bhutan, the Je Khenpo. Punakha played great importance in the history of Bhutan during the time of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 17th century. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal is known as the unifier of Bhutan as a nation state and he was the one who gave Bhutan and its people the cultural identity that identified Bhutan from the rest of the world.
In 17th century Bhutan was invaded several times by the Tibetan force to seize a very precious relic, the Ranjung Kharsapani during which Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal defeated the Tibetan army and to commemorate the victory he introduced the Punakha Drubchen. Since then Punakha Drubchen also known as Puna Drubchen became the annual festival of Punakha district. In addition to Punakha Drubchen in 2005 another festival known as Punakha Tshechu was introduced by the 70th Je Khenpo Trulku Jigme Choedra and the then Home Minister His Excellency Lyonpo Jigme Yoedzer Thinley on the request made by Punakha District Administration and people for upholding the Buddhist teachings and keeping alive the noble deeds of Zhabdrung Rimpochhe.
Punakha Drubchen is a unique festival due to a dramatic recreation of the scene from the 17th century battle with Tibetan army. The ‘pazaps’ or local militia men, dressed in battle gear showcase a battle scene of this distant past recalling the days when in the absence of a standing army, men from the eight Tshogchens or great village blocks of Thimpu came forward and managed to expel the Tibetan forces out of the country ushering in a new-found internal peace and stability.
Punakha Drubchen and Tshechu not only play an important role in preserving Bhutan’s rich cultural and tradition but it also is also an event where devout Buddhists has a place and time for prayer and pilgrimage. These festivals also reflect the richness of everything that is Bhutanese and are very special in the eyes and hearts of tourists who visit Bhutan.

Takin Festival

TakinTakin Festival will be held every year in Gasa to showcase Bhutan’s rich natural heritage, raise awareness on conservation of biodiversity, create avenues and strive towards financial sustainability of the park management, provide off-season ecotourism opportunities to the tourism sector, and provide supplemental income opportunities to the park residents, specifically the upland communities.
Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP) is the second largest among the ten natural preserves in the country. It is closest to the country’s capital, Thimphu, and to the country’s international airport at Paro. The park spans across five dzongkhags of which almost all of Gasa Dzongkhag is encompassed. Offering spectacular Himalayan vistas of awe-inspiring scenic beauties and enchanted mix of cultural and wildlife safaris, JDNP is considered a conservation heritage of nature and culture in harmony.
Gasa Dzongkhag is located in the north western part of Bhutan. It is the least populated district in the country, but the richest in terms of medicinal plants and temperate biodiversity. The district is famous for having many hot springs and medicinal baths. It is also declared as an organic district. Gasa is also well known for the popular Bhutanese folklore of Gasa Lamai Singye and Changyul Bhumoi Galem which depicts the tragic love story equivalent to that of the famous Shakespearean play, Romeo and Juliet.  Gasa Lamai Singye, who is Bhutanese equivalent of Romeo, was serving as a servant to the abode of monastic body in Gasa when Galem (equivalent of Juliet) was helping her parents with farm works in her village of Changyuel in Punakha. The story ended with Galem committing suicide when her parents vehemently objected to her idea of marrying Singye.
During the Takin Fair in Gasa, watch skilled nomadic herders as they weave tents, blankets, rugs and bags from raw material culled by shearing yaks. You might also like the demonstrations of local cane work tradition, which includes the much photographed conical hats that are a specialty of the region. Enjoy rich meals derived from yak meat and dairy, and try chugos, the dried and hardened cubes of yak cheese that are a popular snack. Learn about some of the environmental issues gripping the region and the world from the Wildlife. Conservation Division’s information booth, or catch a high altitude screening of a documentary film about the Takins and the issues undermining their survival and habitat. Become the natural observer of Bhutan’s little-known national animal at Gathana (where the tourist will be making short treks from Damji under Gasa Dzongkhag) as you track their salt licks and watch their mating and social behavior. Enjoy a medicinal hot   spring bath in Gasa.
The Takin Festival will be held annually from 21st to 23rd February.

Thimphu Tsechu

One of the biggest festivals is the Thimphu Tshechu, held in the capital city for three days starting from 10th day of the 8th month of lunar calendar. Before the actual tshechu that is being witnessed by thousands of people from the capital city and the nearby Dzongkhags, days and nights of prayers and rituals are conducted to invoke the gods.
It was first initiated by the 4th Desid, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay in 1867. It had only a few dances being performed and that too 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).
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). The additions has added colour without compromising the spiritual significance. Mask dances like the Guru Tshengye (eight manifestations of Guru), Shaw shachi (dance of the stags) are enjoyed because they are like 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 have entranced the evil forces and prevented 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 the drudgery of farm life. It’s an occasion to enjoy, get blessed and pray for health and happiness. The festival lasts for three days.
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 earlier to the Thimphu Tshechu.
The Dromchoe showcases the sacred dances dedicated to the protecting 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 dance ceremony.

Wangdue Phodrang Tsechu

Wangdue DzongWangdue Phodrang in central Bhutan is known for the Lozeys or the ornamental speeches. Some of the notable lozeys are the sorrows of Gaylong Sumdar Tashi, who was sent as a monk and that of Pemai Tshewang Tashi who served as an official at the Dzong. The Dzong serves as the administrative centre and was built in 1639 by Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel at the confluence of Puna Tsang chu.
The annual Wangduephodrang Tshechu was introduced by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal after the completion of the dzong. The three-day annual Tshechu is witnessed by people from Punakha and Thimphu and provides the people with an occasion to partake in entertainment and revelry. The Tshechu is known for the Raksha Mangcham or the dance of the Ox. It concludes with the unfurling of the Guru Tshengye Thongdroel where people throng to receive blessings.
Note: The Tourism Council of Bhutan would like to inform all tourism stakeholders and tourists that Rabdey Dratshang of Wangduephodrang Dzongkhag has informed us that this year’s annual Wangduephodrang Tshechu scheduled for 23rd to 25th September would take place at Tencholing Army ground in Wangduephodrang.

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