3 Festivals to Attend during Bhutan Holiday Tours

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

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.

Matsutake Festival

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.

Nomad Festival

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.

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Enjoying Festivities during Tours to Bhutan

Vajrayana Buddhism

Vajrayana Buddhism

Landlocked within the southern region of Asian continent, Bhutan is a small, lovely country. Natural beauty can be seen in its best form in this beautiful nation, which is replete with numerous landscapes and lofty ranges of great the Himalayas. An authentic traditional legacy is clearly visible in the various cultural aspects of this country that makes it a place worthy of paying a visit at least once. This nation is a prominent centre for the tradition of the well-known Vajrayana form of Buddhism, and this fact has made it a sanctified pilgrimage site for Buddhism followers worldwide. The cultural sense and colourful festivals of the region have such a strong hold that visitors plan to take a glimpse of it courtesy Bhutan tour packages.

Tsechu

Tsechu in Bhutan

Tsechu in Bhutan

The annual festival of Tsechu is one of the prominent attractions for travellers. The festival is popular for its rich display of traditions, and it unravels the beliefs and forms of tantric Buddhism. Festivities of the event start on the tenth day according to the lunar calendar and lasts for three to five days in continuity. Masked dancers performing on the ancient forms of songs and music bless onlookers and are believed to ward-off the evil and cleanse individuals of their sins. Tsechu is also considered a way of honouring the great saint Padmasambhava, popularly known as Guru Rinpoche.

People from all age groups dress up and gather to take part in the festivities outside the big fortresses or the dzongs, where the event takes place. Travellers, apart from witnessing the festivities, can take a look at the souvenirs available at numerous makeshift shops of the area. This joyful occasion is celebrated in two prominent regions of the country in two distinct ways. The one is known as Punakha Tshechu, which is celebrated in the month of February and other is Paro Tsechu, held during March. Tours to Bhutan are an experience worth remembering, and worth trying again.