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3 of the Coolest Celebrations In Bhutan

EDIT 2021: I have blogged about the best festivals in Bhutan in a more detailed article HERE. Please read it instead.

I’ve also blogged about how to hike the Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan and the best time to visit Bhutan. Click the links to read them.

If you’d like to read more about my trip to every country in the world, please check out my blog or MY INSTAGRAM. INSTAGRAM.COM/ONESTEP4WARD

If you ever needed a reason to go anywhere, attending a festival is the perfect excuse. Bhutan is full of these kinds of excuses. The nation hosts celebrations year-round celebrating their culture, diversity, and all things wonderful that are Bhutan. Being in Bhutan for one of their many celebrations is the perfect way to get a colorful and fun taste of the culture of the nation. With several high profile festivals it can be overwhelming to choose what festivals to go to. That’s what this post is for! We are highlighting five festivals that you should keep in mind when getting ready to book your trip to Bhutan.

Celebrations In Bhutan
Celebrations In Bhutan

The Sakteng Festival

The Sakteng Festival is a great 3-day festival put on by the semi-nomadic Brokpas people. The Sakten valley, where the festival is located, is in eastern Bhutan next to Trashigang Dzongkhag. The Brokpas are about as untouched by the outside world as a group of people can get and the same goes for the Sakteng valley. This festival is a time for the people to celebrate and essentially, party. The festival, like many in Bhutan, is centered around worship. It also focuses on traditional clothing and lots of ara which is the local wine. The Brokpas people will also perform the Yak Dance and the Ache Lhamo dance. These two dances are specific to the Brokpas people and are different than the mask dances that take place during celebrations in the rest of Bhutan.

Celebrations In Bhutan
Celebrations In Bhutan

Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival

Starting in 2011, this is a brand new festival that will be held annually on December 13th at the Druk Lhakhang Festival Ground at Dochula Pass. The grounds are just 22km outside of the capital city of Thimphu. The festival was set up to honor His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and the Armed Forces successful defeat of Indian insurgents in Southern Bhutan in 2003. This festival is a true example of Bhutanese cultural tradtions and it offers one of the most stunning views in the country. The grounds offer an incredible panoramic view of the Himalayan mountains.

Celebrations In Bhutan
Celebrations In Bhutan

The Black-Necked Crane Festival

Held every year in the courtyard of the Gangtey Gonpa, in Phobjikha, the Black-Neck Crane Festival holds two very important purposes. It raises awareness for the protection of the endangered Black-Neck Crane and it also brings to light the importance of having a strong link between economic welfare and sustainable living for the farming community. While they promote these causes, they also have an impressive showcase of their culture through dance, song, and dress. Many of these are inspired by the beautiful black-neck crane. The festival is every November to signify the incoming migration of the black-neck cranes.


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7 thoughts on “3 of the Coolest Celebrations In Bhutan

  1. Pingback: 在喜马拉雅山的旅行中,不丹最酷的3个庆祝活动-数字游民指南
  2. Yes I understand its not just british tourists that have this restriction, I’m just saying it makes it more difficult to travel there if you have to organise your travel through an agent.

  3. Unfortunately there are some restrictions, it states on the foreign office website “You must arrange any visit to Bhutan through an authorised travel agent. Those travelling independently on British passports are not permitted to enter Bhutan.” It’s a shame because if they lifted this barrier it would allow more tourists to enter the country and boost their economy.

    1. jennifer, it’s not about British tourist. It’s EVERY country in the world apart from India who has to do this 🙂

    2. Bhutan being a small country we have enough reason to adopt the regulation for travelers. Firstly we do not have infrastructures in place, secondly we want to keep our tradition, environment and culture intact. The policy is working so well and we have been reaping benefits from tourism since 1974. We want it to do this way for future generations.

  4. Wow, it looks like there are so many colourful festivals in Bhutan! I was hoping to go as part of my RTW trip (which as it happens is drawing to a close), however I read that you cannot travel to Bhutan independently on a british passport.

    1. you can jennifer, it’s just a little pricey that’s all – no restrictions with the passport at all 🙂

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