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Festivals in Bhutan can be divided into three categories: traditional festivals, non-religious festivals and religious festivals. Except for the National Day, the King’s Birthday, and the ascension of the throne, most of the festivals in Bhutan are calculated according to the Bhutanese calendar. Therefore, festivals in Bhutan have different dates on the Gregorian calendar every year.

Tshechus (commemorating the holy Buddhist monk Guru Rinpoche (Tshechus) is the most important religious festival in Bhutan. Different regions are held at specific times of the year, and the time is 4 to 5 days. During festivals, Bhutanese usually hold prayer ceremonies and masked sword dance performances. The dance is performed by monks wearing various religious masks and brightly colored traditional costumes, recreating the gods and Buddhas they believe in. Dances usually tell stories of saints surrendering demons or depict important historical events. Bhutanese believe that watching the masked sword dance is a process of blessing and enlightenment. If you are lucky enough to witness the grand ceremony of the Buddha exhibition on the last day of the festival, you are considered to have accumulated countless merits.

Therefore, every Bhutanese wants to participate in festival celebrations at least once in his lifetime. Festivals in Bhutan are also good occasions for family reunion and socializing. People will put on their best clothes, put on gorgeous coral and turquoise jewelry, use traditional bamboo baskets to store food, and gather in dzongs or temples. In the center of the celebration, the dancers sang traditional songs with beautiful melody while the audience chatted and laughed, drinking butter tea and strong barley wine. During the festivals in Bhutan, visitors must abide by Bhutan’s smoking cessation regulations, and at the same time pay attention to politeness. They cannot dance, make loud noises, or take pictures.

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