Bhutan is a country of festivals. In fact, it is our festivals that attract thousands of tourists every year, while maintaining a sustainable tourism model. And the figures are only expected to go up as Bhutan is welcoming tourists again after the lockdowns. Attending festivals are a great way to understand a country’s culture and history. In this article, we will explore some of the festivals you can attend while visiting Bhutan this summer
Haa Summer Festival: The Haa Summer Festival is a vibrant lively event with religious performances, unique Bhutanese local cuisine, local Bhutanese alcoholic drink Ara, and traditional sports. It gives insight into the lives and traditions of Bhutan’s nomadic herders. Expect a glimpse of Bhutanese culture through its songs, folk dances, artefacts, and religious performances. You can also see alpine flowers. a You can enjoy the hospitality of the local people of Haa Valley. This Festival takes place in July.
Paro Tshechu Festival: This is probably one of the most prominent festivals of Bhutan. Monks wear masks which represent the deities, re-enact and replay the scenes from legendary tales and historical anecdotes. But the showstopper of the festival is the moment when people get to see a glimpse of 350 years old Thangkha, which is one of the oldest Buddhist religious scrolls. It has narratives from history, celebrating the high deeds of Guru Rimpoche. This festival takes place in Paro, the city with an international airport, in the month of April.
Matsutake Festival: This annual festival is one of the famous harvest festivals of Bhutan and is a celebration marked by the locals of Ura Valley during the mushroom season. This festival observes the celebration of this legendary mushroom harvesting. During this festival, the locals make delicious delicacies and the visitors can get a peek at the lifestyle of the locals which helps them form a deeper connection. This festival celebration includes a mushroom-picking excursion and getting a glimpse of the panoramic forests. This festival takes place in the month of August.
Sakteng Festival: The Sakteng Festival is an annual celebration which takes place in the Sakteng Valley located at an altitude of 3000 meters. This valley is located on the eastern side of Bhutan and it is home to semi-nomads who are known as the semi-nomads named ‘Brokpas.’ This valley has still not been touched by modernity, and sometimes it is really difficult to reach there. But this three-day festival is worth experiencing. Watching Yak dance can be a great experience.