Bhutan, 'Land of the Thunder Dragon' is all set to celebrate its annual Royal Royal Highland Festival from October 23rd–24th at Laya in the Gasa district. Stunning Mountains, sports, music, local arts and crafts, and culture—if you are someone who loves all the above-mentioned things, this festival is perfect for you!
The festival, which was started in 2016, is a vibrant annual festival that celebrates the highland communities, who are the sole guardians of the highlands of Bhutan. Since its inception, the festival has gained popularity and every year people from across the globe come to celebrate the highland culture and landscapes
People from all over Bhutan, including different tribes, come to the Gasa district to take part in the festival. This festival lasts for two days and is filled with cultural and entertainment programs presented by the Layap people, the locals of Laya.
During the festival, you can stay with a Layap family, dress like them, eat their food, and enjoy the festival with them.
Layap people, wearing traditional clothes, playing games like khuru (a dart-throwing game), archery, yak, and horseback riding, are some of the major attractions of the 2-day event. One exciting part of the festival is the Laya Run, a 25-kilometer race along a beautiful mountain trail by the Mochu River. It starts where the road ends at Ponjothang.
You can also watch different contests with highland animals like yaks, horses, and mastiffs. These animals are dressed up in colourful accessories.
Witness the traditional offerings of Buelwa, a gift offering, and Auley, a traditional epic poem or song recitation. These are ways to show loyalty and respect to Bhutan's monarchs. Enjoy various cultural performances by Layap people, including traditional songs and dances.
Delicious Local Food
Apart from competitions and showcasing culture, you can also enjoy local cuisine that includes dried yak cheese, butter, and traditional alcoholic beverages from food stalls at the festival.