Punakha Drubchen Festival

The annual Punakha festivals are held at the gigantic Punakha Dzong (fortress), which is the most beautiful of all fortresses in Bhutan. The Punakha Dzong lies at the confluence of the male and the female rivers giving it a romantic ambiance. .

The two main Punakha Festival are the The Punakha Drubchen Festival and the Punakha Tshechu.

The five-day Punakha Drubchen Festival is the only festival of its kind in Bhutan. It is usually held in around February.

The festival is one of the biggest in Bhutan and the main theme of the festival is the re-enactment of historical accounts of the Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, who consolidated Bhutan for the first time in the 17th century.

The festival re-enacts the events of how he fooled the invading Tibetan forces to believe that he threw the main relic into the adjacent river duping the invading forces to retreat. The series of events helped consolidate Bhutan as a nation state. As such, the festival began in the 17th century to observe Bhutan’s victory over the Tibetan forces

Several mask dances are also performed during the festival together with other local songs and dances. People from all voe rth ecoutnr y come to visit the festival and take blessings from a majestic and gigantic Thongdrol (a large tapestry) shown to the public only during the Tshechu for the entire year.

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