The Masked Dance Festivals of Bhutan
Bhutan’s masked dance festivals, called tsechus in the local language of Dzongka, date back three and a half centuries. At that time the monks were both the civil and religious authorities, and the dances were used to educate an illiterate populace about their history and religion. The dances have been handed down from one generation to the next, and remain virtually unchanged from their origins.
Each district hosts a festival once a year, on dates determined by the lunar calendar. The festivals last from three to five days, and are attended by hundreds or thousands of locals. The major festivals of Thimphu and Paro presently get as many as a thousand foreign visitors as well, so we’ll be organizing our trips to coincide with some of the less visited tsechus where the atmosphere is more traditional. Before and after the festival you’ll visit many of the important sites of interest in Bhutan.
Touring the Masked Dance Festivals of Bhutan: Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1: Depart USA / Day 2: Bangkok overnight / Day 3: Fly Bangkok-Paro, drive to Thimphu / Day 4: Thimphu / Day 5: Drive to Punakha / Days 6-7: Explore the Festival / Day 8: Drive Paro / Day 9: Paro / Day 10: Depart / Day 11: Arrive home
(itinerary will vary according to the festival)