Bhutan has a lot of monastery and not-religious festivals to offer. It is difficult to choose among them all. Our advice: If you have the time/possibility, visit festivals in the off-season. They are very special because they have less foreign visitors. Also travelling in off-season is more cheap than in high season. If you want to travel in high season be prepared to book early as flights and hotelrooms are quickly sold out during that time. Anyhow: The monastery festivals are a special highlight and if you go to Bhutan you should see at least one. 

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Overview: Festivals from July 2016 onwards

Here you will find not only monastery festivals but also non-religious festivities taking place between july 2016 and december 2016.

5.-6. July 2016
Haa Summer Festival in Haa

2.-3. August 2016
Merak Tsechu (=Monastery festival) in Trashigang

13.-14. August 2016
Matsutake Festival in Bumthang (Infos about the “mushroom”-festival under this Link:

15.-16. August 2016
Matsutake Festival in Genekha (see above)

15.-19. August 2016
Chha Festival in Lhuentse

25.-28. August 2016
Mountain Echoes in Thimphu (Literaturefestival – further Infos:

3. September 2016
Tour of the Dragon (Mountainbike-race over 268km – further infos:

9.-11. September 2016
Khaling Tshechu in Trashigang

7. October 2016
Thimphu Drubchen in Thimphu

9.-11. October 2016
Wangdue Tshechu in Wangdue Phodrang

9.-11. October 2016
Haa Tshechu in Haa

9.-11. October 2016
Gangtey Tshechu in Wangdue Phodrang

10.-11. October 2016
Geling Tshechu in Chhukha

10.-13. October 2016
Thimphu Tshechu in Thimphu

11.-13. October 2016
Tamshing Phala Chhoepa in Bumthang

14.-17. October 2016
Thangbi Mani in Bumthang

22. October 2016
Dechenphu Tshechu in Thimphu

25.-16. October 2016
Jomolhari Mountain Festival in Paro (more infos:

6.-9. November 2016
Monggar Tshechu in Monggar

6-10. November 2016
Pemagatshel Tshechu in Pemagatshel

6.-9. November 2016
Shingkhar Rabney in Bumthang

7.-9. November 2016
Chhukha Tshechu in Chhukha

7.-10. November 2016
Trashigang Tshechu in Trashigang

7.-10. November 2016
Jakar Tshechu in Bumthang

11. November 2016
Black Necked Crane Festival in Wangduephodrang (further infos:

13.-15. November 2016
Nalakhar Tshechu in Bumthang

14.-17. November 2016
Jambay Lhakhang Drup in Bumthang

25.-29. November 2016
Sumthrang Kanssoel in Bumthang

6.-8. December 2016
Gelephu Tshechu in Sarpang

7.-9. December 2016
Dungkar Tshechu in Lhuentse

7.-9. December 2016
Samtse Tshechu in Samtse

7.-10. December 2016
Lhuentse Tshechu in Lhuentse

8.-9. December 2016
Tang Namkha Rabney in Bumthang

9.-10. December 2016
Trongsa Tshechu in Trongsa

10.-12. December 2016
Samdrup Jongkhar Tshechu in Samdrup Jongkhar

11.-14. December 2016
Kangso Tshechu in Monggar

11.-13. December 2016
Dremetse Tshechu in Monggar

12.-16. December 2016
Chojam Rabney Festival in Bumthang

12.-14. December 2016
Korphu Tshechu in Trongsa

12.-14. December 2016
Nabji Lhakhang Drup in Trongsa

13. December 2016
Druk Wangyel Tshechu in Thimphu

19.-23. December 2016
Dagana Tsechu in Dagana

24.-29. December 2016
Pangkhar Choepa in Bumthang


Attention: Please reconfirm all dates – it is possible there are typing mistakes 😉




Hemis Festival is held every year, but every 12 years it is very special. 2016 will be one of those years. In the 5th lunar month of the monkey year several hundred thousand people from tibetan-buddhist areas and the whole world will gather to celebrate the life of Naropa.


Hemis Festival: Every 12 years 1 month celebration

Hemis Festival 2016 will be one of the most important festivals of the decade in india. 1 month long several rare events will be held. Tibetan buddhists believe if you watch these events you will liberated through sight.

At the same time the famous silk thangka of Padmasambhava will be displayed that reaches from the roof of the monastery nearly down to the earth. This thangka is only displayed in public during Hemis Festival.




Who is Naropa?

The real high light of Hemis Festival 2016 is the display of the famed, holy 6 bones ornament from Naropa. It will be shown by Gyalwang Drukpa, the head of Drukpa School. The six bone ornament is said to be one of the holiest treasures of the himalayas.

Naropa lived during the 11th century and is one of the most remarkable buddhist holy men that lived at that time in india. He is one of the 84 Mahasiddhas. A Siddha (Sanskrit for: great ruler of perfect skills) is a person who gained Siddhi – a level of spiritual practice that enables a person for supernatural powers and abilites. In tibetan buddhism a Siddha is someone who reached a higher level of realization til awakening.


The Drukpa are commonly called “red-hat-sect” in the west


Drukpa: What is it?

Hemis Festival 2016 will be the biggest gathering of Drukpa teachers. Drukpa is a lineage or school of tibetan buddhism, most commonly called “red-hat-sect”. They belong to the Kagyu- (Kargyud-)lineage of tibetan buddhism and to the schools of “new translations”. And to make things a bit more complicate: the Drukpa lineage has again several sub-school. The Drukpa lineage is prominent in Kham (eastern Tibet), Ladakh and Bhutan. Especially in Bhutan it has a great significance, as it is the dominant school and state religion.


Are you going to join?

If you want to attend this special occasion in 2016, you can contact us. One of our fix tours visits Hemis Festival on the most important day (on the other days you will see other highlights of Ladakh): Basics of Ladakh with Hemisfestival

If you prefer to visit Hemis Festival with your friends/family and/or if you want to spend more time at Hemis Festival, we will be happily building your own individual tour: Contact

Hemis Festival for buddhists
If you are a buddhist and would like to join Hemis Festival with your buddhist group, we would like to help you with booking of accommodations, flights and the arrangement of transports.  We could also reserve special seats for you at Hemis festival, so you are able to witness as much as possible.


Pictures from the festival 2015


Short video from last year’s festival


Once a year, every monastery in Ladakh is celebrating with a festival. Most of the monastery festivals take place in the winter months – those are the ones we recommend visiting the most – but of course there is one or the other festival happening in summer.


Dates for Monastery festivals 2016

Spituk Gustor in Spituk: 7. + 8. January 2016

Dosmochey Leh & Likir Monastery: 6. + 7. February 2016

Yargon Tungshak Nubra (Yarma): 12. + 13. February 2016

Stok Guru Tsechu in Monastery Stok: 16. + 17. February 2016

Matho Nagrang in Monastery Matho: 21. + 22. February 2016   – Our tour Ladakh & Goa will visit this festival

Saka Dawa all over Ladakh: 20. May 2016

Yuru Kabgyat in Monastery Lamayuru: 1. + 2. July 2016

Hemis Tsechu in Monastery Hemis:  14. + 15. July 2016  – Our journey Basics of Ladakh will visit this festial!

Stongday Gustor in Zanskar:  22. + 23. July 2016

Karsha Gustor in Zanskar:  31. July + 01. August 2016

Phyang Tsesdup in Monastery Phyang: 31. July + 01. August 2016

Sachukul Gustor in Monastery Sachukul: 21. + 22. July 2016

Korzok Gustor at Tsomoriri:   5. + 6. August 2016

Dakthok Tseschu in Monastery Thakthok:  13. + 14. August 2016

Sani Nasjal in Zanskar:  17. + 18. August 2016 – Our journey Trekking & Culture in Zanskar will visit Sani-Festival

Deskit Gustor in Nubra: 28. + 29. October 2016

Thiksey Gustor in Monastery Thiksey: 17. + 18. November 2016

Chemday Wangchok in Monastery Chemday & Padum Chemray Monastery (Zanskar):  27. + 28. November 2016

Galden Namchot all over Ladakh:  23. December 2016

Ladakhi Losar (Ladakhi New Year):   30. December 2016