The annual Black-Necked Crane Festival returns to the Gangtey Valley on the 11th of November. This one-day event held at Gangtey Goemba Monastery celebrates the arrival of the Black-Necked Cranes in the valley, considered a sacred bird in Bhutan and a symbol of longevity. The festival is organized to generate awareness, provide economic incentives for local communities and form an avenue for the locals to renew their commitment to conserve the cranes. It also offers communities an opportunity to showcase their cultural heritage and skills. The festival generally includes cultural programs such as folk songs, environment related songs and mask dances performed by the local people, school children and monks. The highlight of the festival is usually the locally choreographed crane dance performed by school children. The festival has now become part of the local culture in Phobjikha valley and attracts local and international tourists alike. The locals are the true conservation champions and all are winners: tourists, visitors, organizers, participants and the performers.
Attending the Black-Necked Crane Festival in Gangtey is a bucket list experience that should not be missed.