Bhutan Festival dates listed is provided by Bhutan Tourism Council and Tour Operators Association of Bhutan. As some of the festivals are small village events, the dates may be tentative and change without notice. If you click on the name of particular Bhutan festival, you will find more details such daily program, photos, videos and more.
Tsechu means day 10 of the month (lunar month). Day 10 of month or tsechu hold special significance in the life of Guru Rinphoche, as most significant event takes place on that day, including his birth and hence most of the festivals takes place around the 10th day of the traditional calendar based on lunar month.
Guru Rinpoche or Padmasambhava, visited Tibet and Bhutan in the 8th century and spread Buddhism. He also converted opponents of Buddhism by performing rites, reciting mantras and finally performing a dance of subjugation to conquer local spirits and gods. He visited Bhutan to aid the dying local Bumthang king Sindhu Raja. Padmasambhava performed a series of such dances in the Bumthang Valley to restore the health of the king. The grateful king helped spread Buddhism in Bhutan. Padmasambhava organized the first tshechu in Bumthang, where the eight manifestations of Padmasambhava were presented through eight forms of dances. These became the Cham dances depicting the glory of Padmasambhava. The later patrons and saints such as Pema Lingpa developed several dances. In addition to mask dances, folk dancing and singing are performed. Some festivals also reenact historical events through dances and dramas.
Tsechus in Bhutan are religious as well as social gatherings, which perform the function of social bonding among people of remote and spread-out villages. Large markets also congregate at the fair locations, leading to brisk commerce. The Thimphu tshechu, Paro tshechu and Jambay Lhakhang Drup are among the biggest of the tsechus in terms of participation and audience. Other events such as the National Day on 17 December, Birthday of 4th King on 11 November and Birthday of 5th King on Feb 21 &22 are celebrated pompously throughout the country every year.