The festivals in Bhutan are numerous. Each district performs annual festivals called Tsechu & Dromche that falls on the 10th day of the month of the Bhutanese calendar. It is the spiritual occasion in honor of Guru Padmashambhava, “one who was born from a lotus flower” popularly known as Guru Rimpoche, “The precious Teacher”. Festivals are also social gatherings where people from all walks of life gathered to rejoice together, dressed in all their finery.
Tsechus or the festivals are not pageants or entertainment events. They are not held for tourist’s attraction. They are the genuine manifestations of religious traditions hundreds of years old which outsiders are given the opportunity to witness. We would like to see that the privilege retained, without in anyway impairing or infringing on the beauty and sacredness of the rituals. Most of the dances date back from beyond the middle Ages and are only performed once or twice each year. Each dance has its own spiritual importance and can be performed by monks or lay village elders dressed in bright costumes. Certain festivals end with the unveiling and worship of huge religious appliqués or Thongdroels. The moment of the unveiling is shrouded in secrecy and creates great excitement among all the participants.
The Dzongs come to life with color, music and terrifying masked and sword dances and other rituals. Tourists are allowed into the Dzongs to watch the spectacle, but not the inner sanctuaries.
Photography should always be discreet. It is generally allowed to take photographs at Tsechus.
The most popular festivals are Paro Tshechu, Thimphu Tshechu, Wangdue Tshechu, few in Bumthang like Jambay Lhakhang Drub and Thangbimani, and in the east such as chorten kora festival. (See festival list sent separately).