BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS MAJESTY JIGME SINGYE WANGCHUCK
His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck the 4th King of Bhutan was born on 11th November, 1955. To mark this occasion every Dzongkhag in Bhutan will observe the day with various cultural programmes and events participated in by people from all walks of life.
Venue: Changlimithang Ground, Thimphu
Bho-Yak is also popularly celebrated as ‘Ap Chundu’s’ birthday. The festival begins at Lhakhang Karpo, the residence of the local deity. As early as 2.30am, the monastic body recites prayers to appease Ap Chundu until 5.30am. After that, Ap Chundu’s ride, a well-decorated horse, is brought to the Lhakhang from the new dzong area and a cleansing ceremony is performed. Led in a traditional ‘Chipdrel’ procession with sounds of drums, bells and singing of melodious traditional songs of praises and wellwishes for all sentient beings, Ap Chundu is then ushered to Janka-kha, the place where the actual event for the day is held. As the Chipdrel proceeds, it is compulsory that they stop at the old Haa dzong for the marchang ceremony. Stopping at around six different places on the way for traditional ‘Marchang Ceremony’ (wine-offering ceremony), the procession takes around four hours and covers around 10km, making it the longest Chipdrel processions in the country. The procession is then greeted by a cheerful crowd dressed in their best colourful attire at Jankakha.
Venue: Janka-kha, Upper valley, Haa
The Shingkhar Rabney is held at the historic temple, Shingkhar Dechenling Lhakhang, in Ura valley in Bumthang. Several mask dances are performed during the festival. The highlight of the festival is the role of an old man, locally called Chath Dorji, who wears a brown wrinkled mask and blesses women with a wooden phallus.
2 – 6 November
Venue: Shingkhar Lhakhang, Ura, Bumthang
The Jakar Dzong or “the Dzong of the White Bird” is perched on the hillock overlooking Chamkhar town and places surrounding it. The interesting thing about the Dzong is that there is a water tower four stairs down behind the Dzong, leading to a water reservoir used for drawing water during battle times in olden days. The three-day festival displays several sacred mask dances. The festival also hosts different types of folk songs and dances. People visit the festival dressed in their finest clothes and the festival is also popular among tourists.
3 – 7 November
Venue: Jakar Dzong, Bumthang
Ugyencholing Kangsel is held in Ugyencholing Dzong in Tang Gewog under Bumthang Dzongkhag. The popular Ugyencholing Dzong has played a vital role as a religious centre in the history of Bhutan. Today, it houses one of the most interesting museums of the country. It is a must-visit site for tourists.
4 – 6 November
Venue: Ugyencholing Dzong, Tang, Bumthang
The tshechu is performed annually as an offering to Guru Rinpoche. Different mask dances are performed during the festival, as well as traditional folk songs and dances. The highlight of the festival is the unfurling of the Thongdrel (large tapestry) of Guru Rinpoche.
4 – 6 November
Venue: Chhukha Ngedrubtse Dzong, Chhukha
The Lanyiri Tshechu takes place in Lanyiri Lhakhang in Dungmin, Pemagatshel. People gather to witness mask dances and cultural programs.
4 – 6 November
Venue: Lanyiri Lhakhang, Dungmin, Pemagatshel
Tshebar Tshechu is held in the Tshebar Lhakhang in Khar under Pemagatshel Dzongkhag. Different mask dances and cultural programmes are performed during the festival.
5 – 7 November
Venue: Tshebar Lhakhang, Khar, Pemagatshel
This three-day festival is celebrated annually. Lama Choni Rangdol is the founder of this place. Local lay monks perform the dances.
6 – 8 November
Venue: Goenkar, Khoma, Lhuentse
People from all over the district come to the district Dzong where the festival is held and all public offices remain closed for three days when the festival is in process. Different kinds of mask dances are performed together with many traditional and classical dances.
10 – 12 November
Venue: Pemagatshel Dzong, Pemagatshel
Dungmed Tshechu takes place in Dungmed Lhakhang in Dungmin, Pemagatshel. Local people gather at the Lhakhang to enjoy the festival.
10 – 12 November
Venue: Dungmed Lhakhang, Dungmin, Pemagatshel
BLACK-NECKED CRANE FESTIVAL
The annual Black-Necked Crane festival is celebrated at the courtyard of Gangtey Goenpa in Phobjikha valley. The festival is an occasion for the locals to rejoice and celebrate the arrival of this vulnerable and majestic bird that has become an insepArable part in their daily lives during the winter months. The annual black-necked crane festival is organized to generate awareness and understanding on the importance of conserving the birds. The festival includes cultural programmes, such as folk songs and dances (some with black-necked crane themes), mask dances performed by the local people, crane dances and environmental conservation-themed dramas and songs by school children.
The Tshepamey- Throngdrel (Life Long Throngdrel) is unfurled every year to the public.
Venue: Ringpung Deyangkha, Paro
People gather to offer cash and kind or wine to their bon priest to receive blessings. It is believed that the Bonpo presides over the event.
Venue: Bardo, Zhemgang
JAMBAY LHAKANG DRUP
The 7th century Tibetan king Songsten Gampo is said to have built 108 temples in one day and Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang is believed to be one of them. The Jambay Lhakhang Drup is one of the most interesting events held there. During this festival, the Chams (dances) include Terchham (Naked Dance), which was formerly initiated by Terton Dorje Lingpa, Mewang, Macham, Ging Tsholing, Dramtse Ngacham, Zhana Cham etc,. The dances are performed by the local villagers of Norgang, Changwa and Nangsiphel. The festival is a five-day programme
12 – 15 November
Venue: Jambay Lhakhang, Choekhor, Bumthang
Prakhar Tshechu is performed in Prakhar Lhakhang
ever year. It is a three-day festival and the Chams (dances) performed during
the tshechu are the usual Chams performed in other Dzongkhags. On the third
night of the tshechu, the people are given the opportunity to get blessings
from Thuktshe Dawa.
13 – 15 November
Venue: Prakar Lhakhang, Bumthang
Different mask dances are performed with the unfurling of a huge Thongdrel (large tapestry) of Guru Rinpoche.
17 – 19 November
Venue: Sonamthang Dratshang, Zhemgang
Serzhong Tshechu is an annual event where mask dances are performed by the monks. It is a one-day tshechu that coincides with the Descending Day of Lord Buddha. The Guru Tsengye Thongdrel (large tapestry) is also displayed to the public for blessings. About 10 relics from the Lhakhang are also displayed.
This annual festival is held at the 13th century monastery of Sumthrang Lhakhang in Ura valley in Bumthang. This festival was initiated by the founder of the monastery, Nyoton Trulzhig Chojey, a great yogi and one of the sons of Nyo Gyelwa Lhanangpa, the founder of Sumthrang monastic establishment. The Sumthrang Taacham (horse dance) is one of main mask dances performed during the festival.
22 – 26 November
Venue: Sumthrang Lhakhang, Ura, Bumthang
People gather to offer cash and kind to the Bonpo to receive blessings in return. People dances and sing to celebrate the day.