Ancient festivals are alive and well in Bhutan. Their undiminished practice makes this time-machine of a country even more exotic. Rich brocaded costumes, brightly painted mask and religious zeal color the processions and dances. The crowds of locals watching the dances in the great dzong courtyards are almost as interesting as the dancers - both are living out their rich culture.

The forms of the dances which are part of festivals was established by lamas in the 15th century and embellished by the great unifying leader, the Shabdrung, in the 17th century. All symbolize, in some form, the destruction of evil.

The festivals themselves celebrate religion, myth and history (for the three are forever intertwined in Bhutan) with great pageantry. The festival dancers are almost exclusively lamas, though at folk dances ordinary men and women dance separately and together.

Consider timing your Bhutan Trek or Bhutan Sightseeing Tour to include one of these festival extravaganzas!