Punakha A brief history on the construction of Punakha Dzong is showcased to the general public. The internal conflict and external invasion during the construction of the fortress by the Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1637, and sacred mask dances and folk dances are performed by the Central Monastic Body, as well as the public of Punakha district. The drubchen is organised by the Culture Section under the Dzongkhag Administration of Punakha.
12 – 14 February
Venue: Punakha Dzong
The Tsechu is one of the most interesting and beautiful festivals in Bhutan showcasing the defeat of Tibetan invasions in the 17th century by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The defending the Punakha Dzong is enacted by the Chief Abbot of Bhutan on the first day. Thongdrel (unfurling of large scroll painting) depicting the painting of Guru Rinpoche is the main attraction on last day of the festival.
Festival date: 15 – 17 February
BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS MAJESTY JIGME KHESAR NAMGYEL WANGCHUCK
His Majesty the 5th King of Bhutan was born on 21st February, 1980 and to mark this important day, people in every Dzongkhag observes the day with various cultural programs.
21 – 23 February
Venue: Changlimithang Ground, Thimphu
This festival is observed in Trashiyangtse, located in the far eastern part of Bhutan. “Drubchen” means “great accomplishment” in Tibetan and is one of the most elaborate forms of Vajrayana Buddhist practice. Apart from watching the mask dances and cultural programmes, sincere participation in a drubchen is said to generate merit and potential realisation equal to one year of retreat.
During this festival, mask dances are performed and prayers recited during the day, while cultural dances and songs are performed towards the evening.
Venue: Li Chi Bi, Goshing, Zhemgang
Naktshang is believed to be the seat of Guru Chowang. A five-day festival is celebrated in Naktshang, where local mask dancers perform.
15 – 18 February
Venue: Nyalamdung Naktshang, Khoma, Lhuentse
The three-day Drungkhag Tshechu is conducted at the border area of Lhamoizingkha.
16 – 18 February
Venue: Lhamoizingkha, Drungkhag Administration
Nganglam Tshechu is held in Nganglam Lhakhang in Zobel, Pemagatshel. Several sacred mask dances are displayed to the public. The local folk dances are also showcased to the public.
17 – 19 February
Venue: Nganglam Lhakhang, Zobel, Pemagatshel
Tangsibi Mani is a religious ritual celebrated in Ura Gewog under Bumthang Dzongkhag. The Chams/ dances include all the Terchams composed by the great saint Terton Pema Lingpa and other dances as well.
18 – 22 February
Venue: Tangsibi Lhakhang, Ura, Bumthang
Tharpaling Thongdrel is a one-day festival and is mainly a display of a giant thangka or Thongdrel (applique silk work with Buddhist images) of Jowo Jampa and Kuenkhen Longchen Rabjam, and is preceeded by prayers and. No Chams (dances) are performed during the entire festival.
Venue: Tharpaling Lhakhang, Chumey, Bumthang
This festival is very popular in Bhutan. It is held at Chorten Kora in Trashiyangtse. It is also known as the Tse-Chenga Kora, and is a celebration on the 15th day of the first month of the Bhutanese calendar. This festival is so significant that the devotees from Tawang in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh join the local Bhutanese in this grand event.
Venue: Chorten Kora, Trashiyangtse
Different artwork and local foods of all eight Gewogs within Zhemgang will be showcased. For nature lovers or bird photography enthusiasts, birding and photography tours are also organized, so that you can catch a glimpse of the vast varieties of bird species within Bhutan.