The happiest country in the world, Bhutan is renowned for its immense natural beauty. While its mountainous topography beckons loads of adventure lovers, its monasteries and stupas invite sightseers. One of the best things to do during Bhutan holiday tours is partaking in its culture. It can be done by interacting with the warm-hearted locals or attending music and dance performances. Another thing, which can help tourists get an insight into the long-held traditions, is festivals. Described below are three of the most significant festivals, celebrated all around the country.
Tsechu is dedicated to the deity, Padmasambhava, who founded the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. To restore the health of the local king, the deity performed a set of dances that are now known as Cham dances. Some of these performances also depict incidents from the life of other saints. Most Tseshus stretch for four days, during which such performances, some with swords and masks, are held. The festivities conclude with the unfurling of a huge scroll painting, called Thongrel, depicting Padmasambhava with his consorts.
Culinary enthusiasts can visit the approximately 10170-feet high Ura Valley in the dzongkhag of Bumthang during their Bhutan vacation tours to attend the Matsutake Festival. The celebration signals the start of the harvesting season for Matsutake, a type of wild mushroom. Organised in the last weekend of August, the event can help travellers combine their love for food and trekking. They can hike through the spruce and fir forests of the valley along with its inhabitants to pick the mushrooms. The locals can tell globetrotters how to find and identify them. Apart from this, traditional dance and music performances can be attended and delicious mushroom dishes can also be tasted here.
One of the unique celebrations to attend during Bhutan holiday tours is the annual Nomad Festival. Hosted in Bumthang, it brings together migrant communities from the Haa, Gasa, Thimphu, Paro, Wangduephodrang and Tashigang dzongkhags. This way, Bumthang becomes a melting pot and exhibition ground of various cultures. While here, holidaymakers will get an insight into the pastoral life, the nomads have been living for ages. They can even dress up like these migrants in attire, made exclusively of yak wool. Sitting around a hearth with crossed legs and eating traditional dishes is another thing tourists can do.
Attending these festivities during Bhutan vacation tours will give visitors a glimpse into the local culture.