Religious festivals are perfect occasions to glimpse what might be termed Bhutanese culture. Celebrated throughout the country, they occur in a host of differing forms, depending upon the scale, the nature of the ceremonies performed or the particular deity being revered. The best known are the Tshechus, festivals which honor Guru Rinpoche and celebrate one of his remarkable actions, and the most popular of these take place annually in or around the great Dzongs, attracting both tourists and large numbers from the surrounding districts. Lasting several days, the central focuses are the series of prayers and religion inspired dances. These dances, made especially striking by the spectacular costumes of the dancers - bright silks and rich brocade, ornate hats or extraordinary masks - may either depict morality tales, invoke protection from demonic spirits or proclaim Buddhist victories and the glory of remarkable saints.
Matching your journey with a local religious festival is something you may not want to miss! While the most popular festivals remain those of Thimphu, Paro and Punakha, these can often be very crowded and the visit of a smaller Tshechu can often be more worthwhile.
Below is a table of Festival dates for the year 2017 that you may want to consider matching your journey with.