THE BLACK-NECKED CRANE FESTIVAL
The annual black-necked crane festival is celebrated in the courtyard of Gangtey Gonpa in Phobjikha valley.
The festival is an occasion for the locals to rejoice and celebrate the arrival of this endangered and majestic bird, which becomes an inseparable part of their daily lives during the winter.
The annual black-necked crane festival is organised to generate awareness and understanding on the importance of protecting the endangered black‐necked cranes; to strengthen the linkages between conservation, economic welfare and sustainable livelihoods of the community; provide an avenue for the local community to renew their commitment to conservation of the black-necked cranes, and to showcase their cultural heritage and skills.
The festival includes cultural programs such as folk songs and dances (some with black-necked crane themes) and mask dances performed by the local people. There are also environmental conservation-themed dramas and songs the school children present.
The festival has become a part of the local culture in Phobjikha valley ever since its initiation by the Royal Society for Protection of Nature in 1998.