There are many festivals held at different locations at different times of the year. The best known of the festivals are "Tshechus" which are celebrated in honour of Guru Padmasambhava commemorating his great deeds. Popularly known as "Guru Rimpoche". This Indian saint contributed enormously to the diffusion of Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan region of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan around 800 AD.
Guru Padmasambhava is founder of the Nyingmapa, the old school of Lamaism, which still has numerous followers. The biography of Guru is highlighted by 12 episodes on the model of Buddha Shakyamuni's life.
"Tshechu" which has become the name of very popular festival commemorate each episode around the year on the 10th day of the month. The dates and the duration of festival vary from one place to another but they all take place on or around 10th day of the month according to Bhutanese calendar.
Tshechus are celebrated for several days, between three and five according to location, and are the occasion for dances that are clearly defined in religious content. Both monks as well as laymen take part in these dances which are performed in a similar manner at each of the Tshechus. Certain Tshechus end with the worship of a huge applique Thangkha representing Guru Rimpoche and his eight manifestations. It is called 'THONGDROEL' and is believed that simply by viewing it people can be delivered from the cycle of reincarnations. The Bhutanese people attach great importance to festivals, which allow them to become immersed in their religion and gain merit, and it is because of this importance that the festivals are so well preserved. These events are also a time for the local people to socialize, to laugh, to joke with their neighbors and acquaintances, to dress in their finest clothes and jewelry, to eat well and generally to have good time.
|01||PUNAKHA DRUBCHHEN||Punakha Dzong, PUNAKHA||15th - 19th February|
|02||PUNAKHA TSHECHU||Punakha Dzong, PUNAKHA||20th - 22nd February|
|03||CHHORTEN KORA||Chorten Kora, TRASHI YANGTSE||25th February & 11th March|
|04||GOMPHUKORA||Gom Kora Lhakhang, TRASHIGANG||20th - 22nd March|
|05||PARO TSHECHU||Rinpung Dzong, PARO||23rd - 27th March|
|06||CHHUKHA TSHECHU||Chhukha Dzong, CHHUKHA||25th - 27th March|
|07||URA YAKCHOE||Ura Lhakhang, BUMTHANG||21st - 25th April|
|08||NIMALUNG TSHECHU||Nimalung Dratshang, Chummi, BUMTHANG||16th - 18th June|
|09||KURJEY TSHECHU||Kurjey Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG||18th June|
|10||THIMPHU DRUBCHEN||Tashichho Dzong, THIMPHU||9th - 13th September|
|11||WANGDUE TSHECHU||Wangdi Dzong, WANGDUEPHODRANG||12th - 14th September|
|12||TAMSHING PHALA CHHOEPA||Tamshing Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG||13th - 15th September|
|13||THIMPHU TSHECHU||Tashichho Dzong, THIMPHU||14th - 16th September|
|14||THANGBI MANI||Tangbi Lhakhang, Choekor, BUMTHANG||18th - 20th September|
|15||JAMBAY LHAKHANG DRUP||Jambay Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG||18th - 22nd October|
|16||PRAKHAR DUCHHOED||Prakar Lhakhang, Chummi, BUMTHANG||19th - 21st October|
|17||CRANE FESTIVAL||Pemagatshel Dzong, PEMAGATSHEL||11th November|
|18||MONGAR TSHECHU||Pemagatshel Dzong, PEMAGATSHEL||9th - 12th November|
|19||PEMAGATSHEL TSHECHU||Pemagatshel Dzong, PEMAGATSHEL||9th - 12th November|
|20||TRASHIGANG TSHECHU||Trashigang Dzong, TRSASHIGANG||10th - 13th November|
|21||NALAKHAR TSHECHU||Nga Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG||17th - 19th November|
|22||TRONGSA TSHECHU||Trongsa Dzong, TRONGSA||9th - 11th January 2014|
|23||LHUENTSE TSHECHU||Lhuentse Dzong, LHUENTSE||9th - 11th January 2014|
Source: Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators (ABTO)